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The Lifecycle of the Financial Sector and Other Speculative Industries

  • Biais, Bruno
  • Rochet, Jean-Charles
  • Woolley, Paul

Speculative industries exploit novel technologies subject to two risks. First, there is uncertainty about the fundamental value of the innovation: is it strong or fragile? Second, it is difficult to monitor managers, which creates moral hazard. Because of moral hazard, managers earn agency rents in equilibrium. As time goes by and profits are observed, beliefs about the industry are rationally updated. If the industry is strong, confidence builds up. Initially this spurs growth. But increasingly confident managers end up requesting very large rents, which curb the growth of the speculative sector. If rents become too high, investors may give up on incentives, and risk and failure rates rise. Furthermore, if the innovation is fragile, eventually there is a crisis, and the industry shrinks. Our model thus captures important stylized facts of the financial innovation wave which took place at the beginning of this century.

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Paper provided by Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) in its series TSE Working Papers with number 09-031.

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Date of creation: Apr 2009
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Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:21941
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  1. Ramadorai, Tarun, 2008. "The Secondary Market for Hedge Funds and the Closed-Hedge Fund Premium," CEPR Discussion Papers 6877, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Holmström, Bengt & Tirole, Jean, 1994. "Financial Intermediation, Loanable Funds and the Real Sector," IDEI Working Papers 40, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  3. Zeira, Joseph, 1993. "Informational Overshooting, Booms and Crashes," CEPR Discussion Papers 823, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Pástor, Luboš & Veronesi, Pietro, 2004. "Was There A Nasdaq Bubble in the Late 1990s?," CEPR Discussion Papers 4485, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Zeira, Joseph, 1987. "Investment as a Process of Search," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(1), pages 204-10, February.
  6. Rob, Rafael, 1991. "Learning and Capacity Expansion under Demand Uncertainty," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(4), pages 655-75, July.
  7. Alessandro Barbarino & Boyan Jovanovic, 2007. "Shakeouts And Market Crashes," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 48(2), pages 385-420, 05.
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