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A Theory of Financing Constraints and Firm Dynamics

  • Gian Luca Clementi
  • Hugo Hopenhagn

There is widespread evidence supporting the conjecture that borrowing constraints have important implications for firm growth and survival. In this paper we model a multiperiod borrowing/lending relationship with asymmetric information. We show that borrowing constraints emerge as a feature of the optimal long-term lending contract, and that such constraints relax as the value of the borrower's claim to future cash flows increases. We also show that the optimal contract has interesting implications for firm dynamics. In agreement with the empirical evidence, as age and size increase, mean and variance of growth decrease, and firm survival increases. Copyright (c) President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology..

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Paper provided by New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 04-25.

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Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ste:nystbu:04-25
Contact details of provider: Postal: New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics, 44 West 4th Street, New York, NY 10012-1126
Phone: (212) 998-0860
Fax: (212) 995-4218
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  1. Rui Albuquerque & Hugo Hopenhayn, 2002. "Optimal Lending Contracts and Firm Dynamics," RCER Working Papers 493, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  2. Gilchrist, Simon & Himmelberg, Charles P., 1995. "Evidence on the role of cash flow for investment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 541-572, December.
  3. Dunne, T. & Roberts, M.J. & Samuelson, L., 1988. "The Growth And Failure Of U.S. Manufacturing Plants," Papers 1-87-5, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  4. Gertler, Mark, 1992. "Financial Capacity and Output Fluctuations in an Economy with Multi-period Financial Relationships," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(3), pages 455-72, July.
  5. Andrew Atkeson & Robert E Lucas, 2010. "On Efficient Distribution with Private Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2179, David K. Levine.
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  8. Bronwyn H. Hall, 1986. "The Relationship Between Firm Size and Firm Growth in the U.S. Manufacturing Sector," NBER Working Papers 1965, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Troske, Kenneth R, 1996. "The Dynamic Adjustment Process of Firm Entry and Exit in Manufacturing and Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(2), pages 705-35, October.
  10. Peter M. DeMarzo & Michael J. Fishman, 2007. "Optimal Long-Term Financial Contracting," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 20(6), pages 2079-2128, November.
  11. Dunne, T. & Roberts, M.J. & Samuelson, L., 1988. "Pattenrs Of Firm Entry And Exit In U.S. Manufacturing Industries," Papers 1-88-2, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  12. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
  13. Atkeson, Andrew, 1991. "International Lending with Moral Hazard and Risk of Repudiation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 1069-89, July.
  14. Bolton, Patrick & Scharfstein, David S, 1990. "A Theory of Predation Based on Agency Problems in Financial Contracting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 93-106, March.
  15. Gabriel Perez-Quiros & Allan Timmermann, 2000. "Firm Size and Cyclical Variations in Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(3), pages 1229-1262, 06.
  16. Steven M. Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & BRUCE C. PETERSEN, 1988. "Financing Constraints and Corporate Investment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(1), pages 141-206.
  17. Audretsch, David B, 1991. "New-Firm Survival and the Technological Regime," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(3), pages 441-50, August.
  18. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1989. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 14-31, March.
  19. Spear, Stephen E & Srivastava, Sanjay, 1987. "On Repeated Moral Hazard with Discounting," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(4), pages 599-617, October.
  20. Rogerson, William P, 1985. "Repeated Moral Hazard," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(1), pages 69-76, January.
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