Agency Problems and the Fate of Capitalism

44 Pages Posted: 17 Oct 2010 Last revised: 30 Jan 2013

See all articles by Randall Morck

Randall Morck

University of Alberta - Department of Finance and Statistical Analysis; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); European Corporate Governence Institute; Asian Bureau of Finance and Economic Research

Bernard Yin Yeung

National University of Singapore - Business School

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 16, 2010

Abstract

Economics has firms maximizing value and people maximizing utility, but firms are run by people. Agency theory concerns the mitigation of this internal contradiction in capitalism. Firms need charters, regulations and laws to restrain those entrusted with their governance, just as economies need constitutions and independent judiciaries to restrain those entrusted with government. Agency problems distort capital allocation if corporate insiders are inefficiently selected or incentivized, and this hampers economic growth absent a legal system with appropriate constraints. However, political economy problems and agency problems in corporations may reinforce each other, compromising the quality of both corporate governance and government.

Keywords: Principal Agent Problem, Corporate Governance, Economic History, Political Economy, Austrian School

JEL Classification: P1, B53, G28, G34, N20, P12

Suggested Citation

Morck, Randall K. and Yeung, Bernard Yin, Agency Problems and the Fate of Capitalism (October 16, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1671207 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1671207

Randall K. Morck (Contact Author)

University of Alberta - Department of Finance and Statistical Analysis ( email )

2-32C Business Building
Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R6
Canada
780-492-5683 (Phone)
780-492-3325 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

European Corporate Governence Institute ( email )

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

Asian Bureau of Finance and Economic Research ( email )

BIZ 2 Storey 4, 04-05
1 Business Link
Singapore, 117592
Singapore

Bernard Yin Yeung

National University of Singapore - Business School ( email )

15 Kent Ridge Drive
BIZ 1 Level 6
Singapore, 119245
Singapore
65 6516 3075 (Phone)
65 6779 1365 (Fax)

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
276
Abstract Views
1,891
rank
95,145
PlumX Metrics