Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Human Capital, Bankruptcy, and Capital Structure

Contents:

Author Info

  • JONATHAN B. BERK
  • RICHARD STANTON
  • JOSEF ZECHNER

Abstract

We derive the optimal labor contract for a levered firm in an economy with perfectly competitive capital and labor markets. Employees become entrenched under this contract and so face large human costs of bankruptcy. The firm's optimal capital structure therefore depends on the trade-off between these human costs and the tax benefits of debt. Optimal debt levels consistent with those observed in practice emerge without relying on frictions such as moral hazard or asymmetric information. Consistent with empirical evidence, persistent idiosyncratic differences in leverage across firms also result. In addition, wages should have explanatory power for firm leverage. Copyright (c) 2010 the American Finance Association.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1540-6261.2010.01556.x
File Function: link to full text
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 65 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (06)
Pages: 891-926

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:65:y:2010:i:3:p:891-926

Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.afajof.org/
More information through EDIRC

Order Information:
Web: http://www.afajof.org/membership/join.asp

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Peter M. DeMarzo & Michael J. Fishman, 2007. "Optimal Long-Term Financial Contracting," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 20(6), pages 2079-2128, November.
  2. Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1994. "A Theory of Debt Based on the Inalienability of Human Capital," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 841-79, November.
  3. Cadenillas, Abel & Cvitanic, Jaksa & Zapatero, Fernando, 2004. "Leverage decision and manager compensation with choice of effort and volatility," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 71-92, July.
  4. Chang, Chun, 1992. " Capital Structure as an Optimal Contract between Employees and Investors," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(3), pages 1141-58, July.
  5. Berens, James L & Cuny, Charles J, 1995. "The Capital Structure Puzzle Revisited," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 8(4), pages 1185-1208.
  6. Luigi Guiso & Luigi Pistaferri & Fabiano Schivardi, 2005. "Insurance within the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(5), pages 1054-1087, October.
  7. Gregor Andrade & Steven N. Kaplan, 1997. "How Costly is Financial (not Economic) Distress? Evidence from Highly Leveraged Transactions that Became Distressed," NBER Working Papers 6145, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. repec:fth:prinin:413 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Haugen, Robert A & Senbet, Lemma W, 1978. "The Insignificance of Bankruptcy Costs to the Theory of Optimal Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 33(2), pages 383-93, May.
  10. Miller, Merton H, 1988. "The Modigliani-Miller Propositions after Thirty Years," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 99-120, Fall.
  11. Harris, Milton & Holstrom, Bengt, 1982. "A Theory of Wage Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(3), pages 315-33, July.
  12. Kalay, Avner & Singhal, Rajeev & Tashjian, Elizabeth, 2007. "Is Chapter 11 costly?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 772-796, June.
  13. Gilson, Stuart C & Vetsuypens, Michael R, 1993. " CEO Compensation in Financially Distressed Firms: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(2), pages 425-58, June.
  14. Baldwin, Carliss Y, 1983. "Productivity and Labor Unions: An Application of the Theory of Self-Enforcing Contracts," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56(2), pages 155-85, April.
  15. Bengt Holmstrom, 1980. "Equilibrium Long-Term Labor Contracts," Discussion Papers 414R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  16. Lucian Bebchuk, . "The Costs of Entrenched Boards," American Law & Economics Association Annual Meetings 1091, American Law & Economics Association.
  17. Elazar Berkovitch & Ronen Israel & Yossef Spiegel, 2000. "Managerial Compensation and Capital Structure," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(4), pages 549-584, December.
  18. Michael L. Lemmon & Michael R. Roberts & Jaime F. Zender, 2008. "Back to the Beginning: Persistence and the Cross-Section of Corporate Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(4), pages 1575-1608, 08.
  19. Kraus, Alan & Litzenberger, Robert H, 1973. "A State-Preference Model of Optimal Financial Leverage," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 28(4), pages 911-22, September.
  20. Philip E. Berger & Eli Ofek & David Yermack, 1996. "Managerial Entrenchment and Capital Structure Decisions," New York University, Leonard N. Stern School Finance Department Working Paper Seires 96-14, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business-.
  21. Charles Brown & James L. Medoff, 1989. "The Employer Size-Wage Effect," NBER Working Papers 2870, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Alan B. Krueger, 1999. "Measuring Labor's Share," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 45-51, May.
  23. Erwan Morellec, 2004. "Can Managerial Discretion Explain Observed Leverage Ratios?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 17(1), pages 257-294.
  24. Graham, John R. & Harvey, Campbell R., 2001. "The theory and practice of corporate finance: evidence from the field," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2-3), pages 187-243, May.
  25. Gale, Douglas & Hellwig, Martin, 1985. "Incentive-Compatible Debt Contracts: The One-Period Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 647-63, October.
  26. Eugene F. Fama, 2002. "Testing Trade-Off and Pecking Order Predictions About Dividends and Debt," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(1), pages 1-33, March.
  27. Thomas, Jonathan & Worrall, Tim, 1988. "Self-enforcing Wage Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 541-54, October.
  28. Gamber, Edward N, 1988. "Long-term Risk-Sharing Wage Contracts in an Economy Subject to Permanent and Temporary Shocks," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(1), pages 83-99, January.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:65:y:2010:i:3:p:891-926. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.