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The interaction of capital structure and ownership structure



Publishing details

Authors / Editors

Mahrt-Smith J K

Publication Year



This paper develops a model in which the interaction of the capital structure and the ownership structure of a manager-run firm can be analyzed. Multiple securities arise as optimal in the model. This allows for a meaningful analysis of interaction effects between various aspects of the capital and ownership structure, in particular interactions between features of debt and equity. Empirical implications are derived for the interaction of equity ownership dispersion, debt ownership structures, bank debt (subject to covenants) and dispersed public debt, board representation of large investors, and features of the institutional environment (such as the bankruptcy law). There is also a predicted (positive) relationship between the need to induce managers to invest for the long term and the extent to which equity should be dispersed. In addition, the paper predicts that the ability of debt holders to control managerial self-interest may be a complement to (and not a substitute for) the ability of equity holders to control managerial self-interest. Finally, the paper demonstrates that the capital and ownership structures are useful for providing incentives for both managers and investors, even if monetary incentive schemes (salaries, bonuses, etc.) are optimally designed

Publication Research Centre

Institute of Finance and Accounting

Series Number

FIN 315


IFA Working Paper

Available on ECCH


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