NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Bart Lambrecht

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Working Papers

December 2011A Theory of Income Smoothing When Insiders Know More Than Outsiders
with Viral V. Acharya: w17696
We consider a setting in which insiders have information about income that outside shareholders do not, but property rights ensure that outside shareholders can enforce a fair payout. To avoid intervention, insiders report income consistent with outsiders' expectations based on publicly available information rather than true income, resulting in an observed income and payout process that adjust partially and over time towards a target. Insiders under-invest in production and effort so as not to unduly raise outsiders' expectations about future income, a problem that is more severe the smaller is the inside ownership and results in an "outside equity Laffer curve". A disclosure environment with adequate quality of independent auditing mitigates the problem, implying that accounting qualit...
July 2010A Litner Model of Payout and Managerial Rents
with Stewart C. Myers: w16210
We develop a dynamic agency model where payout, investment and financing decisions are made by managers who attempt to maximize the rents they take from the firm, subject to a capital market constraint. Managers smooth payout in order to smooth their flow of rents. Total payout (dividends plus net repurchases) follows Lintner's (1956) target-adjustment model. Payout smooths out transitory shocks to current income and adjusts gradually to changes in permanent income. Smoothing is accomplished by borrowing or lending. Payout is not cut back to finance capital investment. Risk aversion causes managers to underinvest, but habit formation mitigates the degree of underinvestment.
January 2005A Theory of Takeovers and Disinvestment
with Stewart C. Myers: w11082
We present a real-options model of takeovers and disinvestment in declining industries. As product demand declines, a first-best closure level is reached, where overall value is maximized by shutting down the .rm and releasing its capital to investors. Absent takeovers, managers of unlevered firms always abandon the firm's business too late. We model the managers' payout policy absent takeovers and consider the effects of golden parachutes and leverage on managers' shut-down decisions. We analyze the effects of takeovers of under-leveraged firms. Takeovers by raiders enforce first-best closure. Hostile takeovers by other firms occur either at the first-best closure point or too early. We also consider management buyouts and mergers of equals and show that in both cases closure happens ine...

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