Dynamic Information Asymmetry, Financing, and Investment Decisions

Dynamic Information Asymmetry, Financing, and Investment Decisions

By Ilya A. Strebulaev, Haoxiang Zhu, Pavel Zryumov
January 26,2014Working Paper No. 3907

We reexamine the classic yet static information asymmetry model of Myers and Majluf (1984) in a fully dynamic market. A firm has access to an investment project and can finance it by debt or equity. The market learns the quality of the firm over time by observing cash flows generated by the firm’s assets in place. In the dynamic equilibrium, the firm optimally delays investment, but investment eventually takes place. In a “two-threshold” equilibrium, a high-quality firm invests only if the market’s belief goes above an optimal upper threshold, while a low-quality firm invests if the market’s belief goes above the upper threshold or below a lower threshold. However, a different “four-threshold” equilibrium can emerge if cash flows are sufficiently volatile. Relatively risky growth options are optimally financed with equity, whereas relatively safe projects are financed with debt, in line with stylized facts.