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Equity, Options and Efficiency in the Presence of Moral Hazard

Michael Magill

No 1845, Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers from Econometric Society

Abstract: This paper provides a general equilibrium analysis of an economy with production under uncertainty in which the firms' capital (ownership) structure creates a moral hazard problem for their managers. The paper studies the concept of an equilibrium with rational, competitive price perceptions (RCPP) in which investors correctly anticipate the optimal effort of entrepreneurs by observing their financial decisions, and entrepreneurs are aware that investors use their financial decisions as signals. The competitive element in the equilibrium valuation of firms comes from the fact that entrepreneurs cannot affect the market price of risks. It is shown that under appropriate spanning assumptions an RCPP is constrained Pareto optimal. Furthermore, if sufficiently many options are traded, then full optimality can be obtained despite the moral hazard problem: options serve both to increase the span of the market and to provide incentives for entrepreneurs.

Date: 2000-08-01
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