Favouritism or Markets in Capital Allocation?

49 Pages Posted: 19 May 2008

See all articles by Mariassunta Giannetti

Mariassunta Giannetti

Stockholm School of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); Swedish House of Finance

Xiaoyun Yu

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Finance; China Academy of Financial Research (CAFR)

Date Written: February 2007

Abstract

Casual observation suggests that capital allocation is often driven by favouritism and connections rather than by market mechanisms and information on future expected returns. We investigate when favouritism or markets emerge as an equilibrium outcome in the allocation of capital. We show that when information is unreliable and costly, financiers do not have incentives to investigate distant investment opportunities and allocate capital to entrepreneurs they are familiar with (favouritism). If the pool of saving is relatively small, favouritism can lead to an efficient allocation of investment. As the economy develops and its pool of saving increases, information production and the identification of distant investment opportunities (markets) become crucial for efficient investment decisions. Nevertheless, favouritism may emerge in equilibrium and investors may find it optimal to fund low quality entrepreneurs if they are familiar with them. Since competition for capital is low in an equilibrium with favouritism, entrepreneurs enjoy high rents. Thus, even high quality entrepreneurs may have no incentive to join markets with standards that foster information acquisition, but rather run inefficiently small firms.

Keywords: Competition for capital, exchange competition, finance and growth, information production

JEL Classification: G1, G3

Suggested Citation

Giannetti, Mariassunta and Yu, Xiaoyun, Favouritism or Markets in Capital Allocation? (February 2007). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP6124. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1133769

Mariassunta Giannetti (Contact Author)

Stockholm School of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 6501
Sveavagen 65
SE-113 83 Stockholm
Sweden
+46 8 736 9607 (Phone)
+46 8 312 327 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/mariassuntagiannetti/Home

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.ecgi.org

Swedish House of Finance ( email )

Drottninggatan 98
111 60 Stockholm
Sweden

Xiaoyun Yu

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Finance ( email )

1309 E. 10th St.
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States
812-855-3521 (Phone)
812-855-5875 (Fax)

China Academy of Financial Research (CAFR)

1954 Huashan Road
Shanghai P.R.China, 200030
China

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