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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 multi-period 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, firm survival increases, and the sensitivity of investment to cash-flows declines.

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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
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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
Web page: http://w4.stern.nyu.edu/economics/

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  1. Marcet, Albert & Marimon, Ramon, 1992. "Communication, commitment, and growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 219-249, December.
  2. Allan Timmermann & Gabriel Perez-Quiros, 1999. "Firm Size and Cyclical Variations in Stock Returns," FMG Discussion Papers dp335, Financial Markets Group.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Thomas Cooley & Ramon Marimon & Vincenzo Quadrini, 2004. "Aggregate Consequences of Limited Contract Enforceability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 817-847, August.
  6. Atkeson, Andrew, 1991. "International Lending with Moral Hazard and Risk of Repudiation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 1069-89, July.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Steven Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 1987. "Financing Constraints and Corporate Investment," NBER Working Papers 2387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Andrew Atkeson & Robert E Lucas, 2010. "On Efficient Distribution with Private Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2179, David K. Levine.
  11. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
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  13. Rogerson, William P, 1985. "Repeated Moral Hazard," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(1), pages 69-76, January.
  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. Rui Albuquerque & Hugo A. Hopenhayn, 2004. "Optimal Lending Contracts and Firm Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(2), pages 285-315, 04.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521633574 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Gertler, Mark, 1990. "Financial Capacity And Output Fluctuations In An Economy With Multiperiod Financial Relationships," Working Papers 90-44, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
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