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Article

Security design with status concerns

Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control. 2020. No. 118. P. 103976.

This paper provides a status-based explanation for convertible securities. An entrepreneur with status concerns inducing risk-taking decides how to finance the firm and how to dynamically manage it. Solving analytically for the optimal security, we find that it is substantially similar to a convertible security. Our model can explain why convertible securities are mainly issued by start-ups and small firms, as we show that their salient characteristics, higher volatility and dynamic flexibility, accentuate incentives to issue convertible securities. We also provide analytical results relevant to quantifying how status concerns affect credit risk, an established factor behind security choice.