Agency Costs, Firm Behaviour and the Nature of Competition

CEPR Working Paper No. 2130

Posted: 31 Jan 2000

See all articles by Philippe Aghion

Philippe Aghion

College de France and London School of Economics and Political Science, Fellow; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Mathias Dewatripont

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Patrick Rey

Toulouse School of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: April 1999

Abstract

This paper develops an agency model in which firms can influence their own incentives to provide a non-contractible effort by contracting on other variables (e.g. by committing themselves to some verifiable investment). In such a model the firms' need for outside finance is shown to interact with their product market behavior in a non-monotonic way; for low levels of outside finance a rise in the need for outside finance reduces the manager's incentive to provide effort; but for high initial levels of outside finance a rise in the need for outside finance requires a commitment to higher effort which in turn is achieved through the contractible investment variables. This non monotonicity has major implications for firm behavior, both when responding to demand shocks or when reacting to a change in the competitive environment.

JEL Classification: E0, L0, O0

Suggested Citation

Aghion, Philippe and Dewatripont, Mathias and Rey, Patrick, Agency Costs, Firm Behaviour and the Nature of Competition (April 1999). CEPR Working Paper No. 2130. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=175441

Philippe Aghion (Contact Author)

College de France and London School of Economics and Political Science, Fellow ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Mathias Dewatripont

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES) ( email )

Ave. Franklin D Roosevelt, 50 - C.P. 114
Brussels, B-1050
Belgium
+32 2 650 4217/4 (Phone)
+32 2 650 4475 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Patrick Rey

Toulouse School of Economics ( email )

2 Rue du Doyen-Gabriel-Marty
Toulouse, 31042
France

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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