A Bargaining-Based Model of Security Design

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This paper studies how security design affects project outcomes. Consider a firm that raises capital for multiple projects by offering investors a share of the revenues. The revenue of each project is determined ex-post through bargaining with a buyer of the output. Thus the choice of security affects the feasible payoffs of the bargaining game. We characterize the securities that achieve the firm's maximal equilibrium payoff in bilateral and multilateral negotiations. In a large class of securities, the optimal contract is remarkably simple. The firm finances each project separately with defaultable debt. Welfare and empirical implications are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Economic Journal: Microeconomics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2021


  • Security Design
  • Bargaining
  • Econ Microeconomic Theory


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