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In Search of New Foundations

  • LUIGI ZINGALES

In this paper I argue that corporate finance theory, empirical research, practical applications, and policy recommendations are deeply rooted in an underlying theory of the firm. I also argue that while the existing theories have delivered very important and useful insights, they seem to be quite ineffective in helping us cope with the new type of firms that are emerging. I outline the characteristics that a new theory of the firm should satisfy and how such a theory could change the way we do corporate finance, both theoretically and empirically.

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Paper provided by Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago in its series CRSP working papers with number 515.

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Date of creation: May 2000
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Handle: RePEc:wop:chispw:515
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  1. Fama, Eugene F & Jensen, Michael C, 1983. "Separation of Ownership and Control," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 301-25, June.
  2. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, . "Power in a Theory of the Firm," CRSP working papers 335, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  3. Fluck, Zsuzsanna, 1998. "Optimal Financial Contracting: Debt versus Outside Equity," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 11(2), pages 383-418.
  4. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicolás S., 1945-, 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Working papers 1523-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  5. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
  6. Raghuram Rajan & Henry Servaes & Luigi Zingales, . "The Cost of Diversity: The Diversification Discount and Inefficient Investment," CRSP working papers 463, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  7. Stewart C. Myers, 2000. "Outside Equity," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(3), pages 1005-1037, 06.
  8. Novaes, Walter & Zingales, Luigi, 2003. "Bureaucracy as a Mechanism to Generate Information," CEPR Discussion Papers 3945, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Diamond, Douglas W, 1989. "Reputation Acquisition in Debt Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 828-62, August.
  10. Ivo Welch, 1995. "Why is Bankdebt Senior? A Theory of Priority Among Creditors," Finance 18-94, University of California at Los Angeles.
  11. Dybvig, Philip H & Zender, Jaime F, 1991. "Capital Structure and Dividend Irrelevance with Asymmetric Information," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 4(1), pages 201-19.
  12. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 1998. "Corporate Ownership Around the World," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1840, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  13. Klein, Benjamin, 1988. "Vertical Integration as Organizational Ownership: The Fisher Body-General Motors Relationship Revisited," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 199-213, Spring.
  14. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1997. " A Survey of Corporate Governance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 737-83, June.
  15. Andrei Shleifer & Lawrence H. Summers, 1987. "Breach of Trust in Hostile Takeovers," NBER Working Papers 2342, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1991. " The Theory of Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(1), pages 297-355, March.
  17. Hart, Oliver D. & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Scholarly Articles 3448675, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  18. Zingales, Luigi, 1995. "What Determines the Value of Corporate Votes?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1047-73, November.
  19. Alchian, Armen A & Demsetz, Harold, 1972. "Production , Information Costs, and Economic Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(5), pages 777-95, December.
  20. Aghion, Philippe & Bolton, Patrick, 1992. "An Incomplete Contracts Approach to Financial Contracting," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(3), pages 473-94, July.
  21. Stein, Jeremy C, 1997. " Internal Capital Markets and the Competition for Corporate Resources," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 111-33, March.
  22. Hart, O. & Moore, J., 1989. "Default And Renegotiation: A Dynamic Model Of Debt," Working papers 520, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  23. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicholas S., 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 187-221, June.
  24. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 1999. "The Tyranny of Inequality," CRSP working papers 423, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  25. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
  26. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1992. " Liquidation Values and Debt Capacity: A Market Equilibrium Approach," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1343-66, September.
  27. Luigi Zingales, 1997. "Corporate Governance," NBER Working Papers 6309, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Thomas Hellmann & Manju Puri, 2002. "Venture Capital and the Professionalization of Start-Up Firms: Empirical Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(1), pages 169-197, 02.
  29. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521781640 is not listed on IDEAS
  30. Titman, Sheridan, 1984. "The effect of capital structure on a firm's liquidation decision," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 137-151, March.
  31. Rose, Nancy L, 1987. "Labor Rent Sharing and Regulation: Evidence from the Trucking Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(6), pages 1146-78, December.
  32. Steven N. Kaplan & Richard S. Ruback, 1994. "The Valuation of Cash Flow Forecasts: An Empirical Analysis," NBER Working Papers 4724, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  33. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 2000. "The Firm as a Dedicated Hierarchy: A Theory of the Origin and Growth of Firms," NBER Working Papers 7546, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  34. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 2000. "The Governance of the New Enterprise," NBER Working Papers 7958, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  35. Klein, Benjamin & Crawford, Robert G & Alchian, Armen A, 1978. "Vertical Integration, Appropriable Rents, and the Competitive Contracting Process," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 297-326, October.
  36. Zingales, Luigi, 1994. "The Value of the Voting Right: A Study of the Milan Stock Exchange Experience," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 7(1), pages 125-48.
  37. Stewart C. Myers & Nicholas S. Majluf, 1984. "Corporate Financing and Investment Decisions When Firms Have InformationThat Investors Do Not Have," NBER Working Papers 1396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  38. 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.
  39. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
  40. Fama, Eugene F, 1990. "Contract Costs and Financing Decisions," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63(1), pages S71-91, January.
  41. Kay, John, 1996. "The Business of Economics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198292227.
  42. Parrino, Robert & Weisbach, Michael S., 1999. "Measuring investment distortions arising from stockholder-bondholder conflicts," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 3-42, July.
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