Articles

Large Risks, Limited Liability and Dynamic Moral Hazard

B. BIAIS, T. MARIOTTI, J-C. ROCHET, S. VILLENEUVE

Econometrica

janvier 2010, vol. 78, n°1, pp.73-118

Départements : Finance

Mots clés : Principal–agent model, limited liability, continuous time, Poisson risk, downsizing, investment, firm size dynamics

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.3982/ECTA7261/abstract


We study a continuous-time principal–agent model in which a risk-neutral agent with limited liability must exert unobservable effort to reduce the likelihood of large but relatively infrequent losses. Firm size can be decreased at no cost or increased subject to adjustment costs. In the optimal contract, investment takes place only if a long enough period of time elapses with no losses occurring. Then, if good performance continues, the agent is paid. As soon as a loss occurs, payments to the agent are suspended, and so is investment if further losses occur. Accumulated bad performance leads to downsizing. We derive explicit formulae for the dynamics of firm size and its asymptotic growth rate, and we provide conditions under which firm size eventually goes to zero or grows without bounds


JavaScriptSettings