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The Internal Governance of Firms

58 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2009 Last revised: 9 Aug 2010

Viral V. Acharya

New York University - Leonard N. Stern School of Business; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance

Stewart C. Myers

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Raghuram G. Rajan

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; International Monetary Fund (IMF); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 5 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 2010

Abstract

We develop a model of internal governance where the self-serving actions of top management are limited by the potential reaction of subordinates. Internal governance can mitigate agency problems and ensure that firms have substantial value, even with little or no external governance by investors. External governance, even if crude and uninformed, can complement internal governance and improve efficiency. This leads to a theory of investment and dividend policy, where dividends are paid by self-interested CEOs to maintain a balance between internal and external control. Our paper can explain why partnerships work well even if control rights are concentrated at the top, why a public firm’s shares have value even when shareholders have limited power, and when structuring an entity as a publicly-held firm is better than structuring it as a partnership.

Suggested Citation

Acharya, Viral V. and Myers, Stewart C. and Rajan, Raghuram G., The Internal Governance of Firms (July 2010). NYU Working Paper No. FIN-08-033. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1354520

Viral V. Acharya (Contact Author)

New York University - Leonard N. Stern School of Business ( email )

44 West 4th Street
New York, NY NY 10012
United States

HOME PAGE: http://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~sternfin/vacharya/public_html/~vacharya.htm

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Cambridge, MA 02138
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New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance

Stern School of Business
44 West 4th Street
New York, NY 10012-1126
United States

Stewart C. Myers

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ( email )

Sloan School of Management
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-253-6696 (Phone)
617-258-6855 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Raghuram G. Rajan

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-4437 (Phone)
773-702-0458 (Fax)

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street NW
Washington, DC 20431
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
773-702-9299 (Phone)
773-702-0458 (Fax)

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