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On the Economics and Politics of Corporate Finance and Corporate Control

Listed author(s):
  • Hellwig, Martin

    ()

    (Sonderforschungsbereich 504)

The paper reviews and assesses our understanding of the relation between cor-porate finance and corporate control. It questions the significance of the notion that entrepreneurs or managers give up significant powers of control in order to obtain external finance, arguing instead that (a) entrepreneurs or managers are reluctant to give up control rights for finance and (b) such exchanges are not credible because entrepreneurs or managers have "residual" means of reneging on such exchanges if they want to. This view leads to a reassessment of the role of the financial system as channelling funds from firms with surplus cash to firms with "surplus" investment needs rather than channelling funds from hou-seholds to firms. The paper asks what agency problems and biases this involves, with particular focus on the scope for structural change when cash flows and investment opportunities are not well correlated. The last part of the paper discusses the politics of corporate control with a view to the natural alliance between (i) the political system supporting incumbent management's claims to retain control and (ii) corporate management with discretion over the use of "free cash flow" to provide funding for matters of political interest outside of regular public budgeting procedures.

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File URL: http://www.sfb504.uni-mannheim.de/publications/dp98-43.pdf
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Paper provided by Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim in its series Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications with number 98-43.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 15 Jun 1998
Handle: RePEc:xrs:sfbmaa:98-43
Note: Financial Support from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, is gratefully acknowleged.
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  19. Machauer, Achim & Weber, Martin, 1998. "Bank behavior based on internal credit ratings of borrowers," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(10-11), pages 1355-1383, October.
  20. Kaplan, Steven N, 1994. "Top Executive Rewards and Firm Performance: A Comparison of Japan and the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(3), pages 510-546, June.
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  22. Hellwig, Martin, 1998. "Allowing for risk choice in Diamond's "Financial intermediation as delegated monitoring"," Papers 98-04, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
  23. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-329, May.
  24. Sanford J. Grossman & Oliver D. Hart, 1980. "Takeover Bids, the Free-Rider Problem, and the Theory of the Corporation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 11(1), pages 42-64, Spring.
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