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Capital Structure as a Strategic Variable: Evidence from Collective Bargaining

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  • DAVID A. MATSA
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    Abstract

    I analyze the strategic use of debt financing to improve a firm's bargaining position with an important supplier-organized labor. Because maintaining high levels of corporate liquidity can encourage workers to raise their wage demands, a firm with external finance constraints has an incentive to use the cash flow demands of debt service to improve its bargaining position with workers. Using both firm-level collective bargaining coverage and state changes in labor laws to identify changes in union bargaining power, I show that strategic incentives from union bargaining appear to have a substantial impact on corporate financing decisions. Copyright (c) 2010 The American Finance Association.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by American Finance Association in its journal The Journal of Finance.

    Volume (Year): 65 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 3 (06)
    Pages: 1197-1232

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:65:y:2010:i:3:p:1197-1232

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    Cited by:
    1. Rodolfo E. Manuelli & Adrian Peralta-Alva, 2011. ""Frictions in financial and labor markets": a summary of the 35th Annual Economic Policy Conference," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue July, pages 273-292.
    2. Nie, Huihua & Zhao, Huainan, 2013. "Leverage and Employee Death: Evidence from China’s Coalmining Industry," MPRA Paper 52343, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Florian Heider & Alexander Ljungqvist, 2012. "As Certain as Debt and Taxes: Estimating the Tax Sensitivity of Leverage from Exogenous State Tax Changes," NBER Working Papers 18263, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Marcelo Ochoa, 2013. "Volatility, labor heterogeneity and asset prices," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2013-71, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    5. Jennifer Brown & David A. Matsa, 2012. "Boarding a Sinking Ship? An Investigation of Job Applications to Distressed Firms," NBER Working Papers 18208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Putthiwanit, Chutinon & Santipiriyapon, Sawitree, 2012. "A different point of view in collective bargaining: legal perspective versus business perspective," MPRA Paper 40952, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Chen, Tsung-Kang & Chen, Yan-Shing & Liao, Hsien-Hsing, 2011. "Labor unions, bargaining power and corporate bond yield spreads: Structural credit model perspectives," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 2084-2098, August.
    8. Agrawal, Ashwini K. & Matsa, David A., 2013. "Labor unemployment risk and corporate financing decisions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(2), pages 449-470.
    9. Rui Silva, 2013. "Internal Labor Markets And Investment In Conglomerates," Working Papers 13-26, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    10. Matthias Fahn & Valeria Merlo & Georg Wamser, 2014. "The Commitment Role of Equity Financing," CESifo Working Paper Series 4841, CESifo Group Munich.
    11. Chemmanur, Thomas J. & Cheng, Yingmei & Zhang, Tianming, 2013. "Human capital, capital structure, and employee pay: An empirical analysis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(2), pages 478-502.
    12. Chu, Yongqiang, 2012. "Optimal capital structure, bargaining, and the supplier market structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(2), pages 411-426.
    13. Linus Wilson, 2011. "Hard debt, soft CEOs, and union rents," Managerial Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 37(8), pages 736-764, August.
    14. Akyol, Ali C. & Verwijmeren, Patrick, 2013. "Human capital costs, firm leverage, and unemployment rates," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 464-481.
    15. Nancy L. Rose, 2012. "After Airline Deregulation and Alfred E. Kahn," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 376-80, May.
    16. John R. Graham & Hyunseob Kim & Si Li & Jiaping Qiu, 2013. "Human Capital Loss In Corporate Bankruptcy," Working Papers 13-37, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    17. Olga Kuzmina, 2013. "Operating Flexibility and Capital Structure: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Working Papers w0197, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
    18. Olsson, Martin & Tåg, Joacim, 2012. "Private Equity and Employees," Working Paper Series 906, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    19. Chyz, James A. & Ching Leung, Winnie Siu & Zhen Li, Oliver & Meng Rui, Oliver, 2013. "Labor unions and tax aggressiveness," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(3), pages 675-698.
    20. David A. Matsa, 2011. "Running on Empty? Financial Leverage and Product Quality in the Supermarket Industry," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 137-73, February.
    21. Tommaso Monacelli & Vincenzo Quadrini & Antonella Trigari, 2011. "Financial Markets and Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 17389, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Robert M. Hull, 2011. "Debt-equity decision-making with and without growth," Managerial Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 37(8), pages 765-787, August.
    23. Panayotis Artikis & Georgia Nifora, 2011. "Leverage and Returns in Three Countries of Southern European Region," European Research Studies Journal, European Research Studies Journal, vol. 0(4), pages 3-26.

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