Hoffmann, F. and Pfeil, S. (2021). Dynamic multitasking and managerial investment incentives Journal of Financial Economics, 142(2):954--974.
JournalJournal of Financial Economics
We study non-contractible intangible investment in a dynamic agency model with multitasking. The manager's short-term task determines current performance, which deteriorates with investment in the firm's future profitability, his long-term task. The optimal contract dynamically balances incentives for short- and long-term performance. Investment is distorted upwards (downwards) relative to first-best in firms with high (low) returns to investment. These distortions decrease as good performance relaxes endogenous financial constraints, implying negative (positive) investment-cash flow sensitivities. Our results shed light on how corporate investment policies, liquidity management, and executive compensation structure differ across industries with different returns to intangible investment.