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Value Maximization As An Ex Post Consistent Firm Objective When Markets are Incomplete

  • Tarun Sabarwal

    (The University of Texas at Austin)

In competitive economies with private firm ownership, incomplete markets, and firm shareholders changing over time, several firm objectives have been proposed. Some are useful to understand efficiency of equilibria, and others are explicitly consistent with majority shareholder control or collective choice rules, but it is not always clear if versions of each type are consistent with versions of the other type. This paper shows that ex-post, value maximizing rules, (including those proposed by Dreze(1974), and Grossman and Hart (1979),) are consistent with shareholder preferences in such economies; that is, along the equilibrium path, in every period and state of the world, every coalition of a firm's shareholders in that period and state approves a value maximizing production plan. This result applies to cases when shareholders within a firm and across firms can form coalitions, and when stock trading can be ex-dividend or cum-dividend, and with a combination of both. This result does not resolve the problem of inefficiency of stock market equilibria, or that of ex ante disagreement among shareholders. It can help understand when firm objectives with some desirable properties are consistent with a particular version of shareholder control, and it provides a stability criterion (in terms of robustness to shareholder coalitions) for organizing productive resources in such economies.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series GE, Growth, Math methods with number 0406002.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: 22 Jun 2004
Date of revision: 19 Jul 2004
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpge:0406002
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 25
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  1. Egbert Dierker & Hildegard Dierker & Birgit Grodal, 2001. "Nonexistence of constrained Efficient Equilibria when Markets are Incomplete," Vienna Economics Papers 0111, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
  2. Sanford Grossman & Oliver Hart, 1978. "A theory of competitive equilibrium in stock market economies," Special Studies Papers 115, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. David Cass & Alessandro Citanna, 1998. "Pareto improving financial innovation in incomplete markets," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 467-494.
  4. Momi, Takeshi, 2001. "Non-existence of equilibrium in an incomplete stock market economy," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 41-70, February.
  5. Tarun Sabarwal, 2004. "On the Allocative Efficiency of Competitive Prices in Economies with Incomplete Markets," GE, Growth, Math methods 0410006, EconWPA.
  6. Oussama Lachiri & Jean-Marc Bonnisseau, 2004. "Dreze's Criterion In A Multi-Period Economy With Stock Markets," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2004 88, Royal Economic Society.
  7. Kelsey, David & Milne, Frank, 1996. "The existence of equilibrium in incomplete markets and the objective function of the firm," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 229-245.
  8. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1982. "The Inefficiency of the Stock Market Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(2), pages 241-61, April.
  9. Geanakoplos, J. & Magill, M. & Quinzii, M. & Dreze, J., 1990. "Generic inefficiency of stock market equilibrium when markets are incomplete," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 113-151.
  10. Egbert DIERKER & Birgit GRODAL, 1994. "Profit Maximization Mitigates Competition," Vienna Economics Papers vie9405, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
  11. Grossman, Sanford J., 1977. "A characterization of the optimality of equilibrium in incomplete markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 1-15, June.
  12. DeMarzo, Peter M, 1993. "Majority Voting and Corporate Control: The Rule of the Dominant Shareholder," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 713-34, July.
  13. Elul Ronel, 1995. "Welfare Effects of Financial Innovation in Incomplete Markets Economies with Several Consumption Goods," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 43-78, February.
  14. Duffie, Darrell & Shafer, Wayne, 1985. "Equilibrium in incomplete markets: I : A basic model of generic existence," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 285-300, June.
  15. Steinar Ekern & Robert Wilson, 1974. "On the Theory of the Firm in an Economy with Incomplete Markets," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 5(1), pages 171-180, Spring.
  16. Radner, Roy, 1972. "Existence of Equilibrium of Plans, Prices, and Price Expectations in a Sequence of Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 40(2), pages 289-303, March.
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