Theory of the firm: managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure

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Michael C. Jensen
William H. Meckling

Abstract

This paper integrates elements from the theory of agency, the theory of property rights and the theory of finance to develop a theory of the ownership structure of the firm. We define the concept of agency costs, show its relationship to the "separation and control" issue, investigate the nature of the agency costs generated by the existence of debt and outside equity, demonstrate who bears these costs and why, and investigate the Pareto optimality of their existence. We also provide a new definition of the firm, and show how our analysis of the factors influencing the creation and issuance of debt and equity claims is a special case of the supply side of the completeness of markets problem.

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How to Cite
JENSEN, M. C.; MECKLING, W. H. Theory of the firm: managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure. RAE - Revista de Administracao de Empresas , [S. l.], v. 48, n. 2, p. 87–125, 2008. Disponível em: https://periodicos.fgv.br/rae/article/view/36604. Acesso em: 26 may. 2024.
Section
RAE - Clássicos