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Agency costs in the process of development

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  • Daron Acemoglu
  • Fabrizio Zilibotti

Abstract

We analyze an economy where production is subject to moral hazard. The degree of the incentive (agency) costs introduced by the presence of moral hazard naturally depends on the information structure in the economy; it is cheaper to induce correct incentives in a society which posesses better ex post information. The degree of ex post information depends on the number of projects and entrepreneurs in the economy; the more projects, the better the information. This implies that at the early stages of development, the range of projects and the amount of information are limited and agency costs are high. Since the information created by a project is an externality on others, the decentralized economy is constrained inefficient; in particular, it does not `experiment' enough. The analysis of the role of information also opens the way to an investigation of the development of financial institutions. We contrast the information aggregation role of stock markets and information production role of banks. Because the amount of available information increases with development, our model predicts the pattern of financial development observed in practice; banks first and stock markets later.
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Suggested Citation

  • Daron Acemoglu & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 1996. "Agency costs in the process of development," Economics Working Papers 157, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:157
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    7. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1993. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 274-298, April.
    8. Greenwood, Jeremy & Smith, Bruce D., 1997. "Financial markets in development, and the development of financial markets," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 145-181, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mishkin, Frederic S., 1998. "International Experiences With Different Monetary Policy Regimes," Seminar Papers 648, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    2. Lindbeck, A., 1998. "Swedish Lessons for Post-Socialist Countries," Papers 645, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
    3. Tressel, Thierry, 2003. "Dual Financial Systems and Inequalities in Economic Development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 223-257, June.
    4. Acemoglu, Daron & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 1997. "Setting Standards: Information Accumulation in Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 1641, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. de Aghion, Beatriz Armendariz, 1999. "Development banking," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 83-100, February.
    6. Chengze Simon Fan & Herschel I. Grossman, 2001. "Incentives and corruption in chinese economic reform," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(3), pages 195-206.
    7. Nazmi, Nader, 2005. "Deregulation, financial deepening and economic growth: The case of Latin America," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 45(2-3), pages 447-459, May.
    8. Taylor, John B., 1999. "The robustness and efficiency of monetary policy rules as guidelines for interest rate setting by the European central bank," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 655-679, June.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General

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