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

Labor unemployment risk and corporate financing decisions

Contents:

Author Info

  • Agrawal, Ashwini K.
  • Matsa, David A.
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    This paper presents evidence that firms choose conservative financial policies partly to mitigate workers' exposure to unemployment risk. We exploit changes in state unemployment insurance laws as a source of variation in the costs borne by workers during layoff spells. We find that higher unemployment benefits lead to increased corporate leverage, particularly for labor-intensive and financially constrained firms. We estimate the ex ante, indirect costs of financial distress due to unemployment risk to be about 60 basis points of firm value for a typical BBB-rated firm. The findings suggest that labor market frictions have a significant impact on corporate financing decisions.

    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.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304405X12002413
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    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 Elsevier in its journal Journal of Financial Economics.

    Volume (Year): 108 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 449-470

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:108:y:2013:i:2:p:449-470

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505576

    Related research

    Keywords: Capital structure; Financial distress; Unemployment risk; Compensating wage differentials;

    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. Steven Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 1987. "Financing Constraints and Corporate Investment," NBER Working Papers 2387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. He X. & Hu F., 2002. "Markov Chain Marginal Bootstrap," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 97, pages 783-795, September.
    3. John Abowd & Orley Ashenfelter, 1980. "Anticipated Unemployment, Temporary Layoffs and Compensating Wage Differentials," Working Papers 517, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    4. Hamermesh, Daniel S & Wolfe, John R, 1990. "Compensating Wage Differentials and the Duration of Wage Loss," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(1), pages S175-97, January.
    5. Raj Chetty, 2008. "Moral Hazard versus Liquidity and Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(2), pages 173-234, 04.
    6. Rajan, Raghuram G & Zingales, Luigi, 1995. " What Do We Know about Capital Structure? Some Evidence from International Data," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(5), pages 1421-60, December.
    7. Jonathan B. Berk & Richard Stanton & Josef Zechner, 2010. "Human Capital, Bankruptcy, and Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(3), pages 891-926, 06.
    8. Harris, Milton & Holstrom, Bengt, 1982. "A Theory of Wage Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(3), pages 315-33, July.
    9. Chen, Huafeng Jason & Kacperczyk, Marcin & Ortiz-Molina, HernĂ¡n, 2011. "Labor Unions, Operating Flexibility, and the Cost of Equity," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(01), pages 25-58, March.
    10. Kaplan, Steven N & Zingales, Luigi, 1997. "Do Investment-Cash Flow Sensitivities Provide Useful Measures of Financing Constraints," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 169-215, February.
    11. Verwijmeren, Patrick & Derwall, Jeroen, 2010. "Employee well-being, firm leverage, and bankruptcy risk," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 956-964, May.
    12. Robert Gibbons & Lawrence Katz, 1989. "Layoffs and Lemons," Working Papers 629, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    13. Lawrence F. Katz & Bruce D. Meyer, 1988. "The Impact of the Potential Duration of Unemployment Benefits on the Duration of Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 2741, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Bruce D. Meyer & Wallace K. C. Mok, 2007. "Quasi-Experimental Evidence on the Effects of Unemployment Insurance from New York State," Working Papers 0708, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
    15. Hotchkiss, Edith Shwalb, 1995. " Postbankruptcy Performance and Management Turnover," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(1), pages 3-21, March.
    16. Jonathan Berk & Johan Walden, 2010. "Limited Capital Market Participation and Human Capital Risk," NBER Working Papers 15709, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Martin Browning & Thomas Crossley, . "Unemployment Insurance Benefit Levels and Consumption Changes," Canadian International Labour Network Working Papers 25, McMaster University.
    18. Luigi Zingales, 2000. "In Search of New Foundations," CRSP working papers 515, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
    19. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1991. " The Theory of Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(1), pages 297-355, March.
    20. Diamond, Peter A, 1982. "Aggregate Demand Management in Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(5), pages 881-94, October.
    21. Charles J. Hadlock & Joshua R. Pierce, 2010. "New Evidence on Measuring Financial Constraints: Moving Beyond the KZ Index," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(5), pages 1909-1940.
    22. Gormley, Todd & Liu, Hong & Zhou, Guofu, 2010. "Limited participation and consumption-saving puzzles: A simple explanation and the role of insurance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 331-344, May.
    23. Mark Gertler & Simon Gilchrist, 1993. "Monetary policy, business cycles and the behavior of small manufacturing firms," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 93-4, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    24. Bronars, Stephen G & Deere, Donald R, 1991. "The Threat of Unionization, the Use of Debt, and the Preservation of Shareholder Wealth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(1), pages 231-54, February.
    25. Altman, Edward I, 1984. " A Further Empirical Investigation of the Bankruptcy Cost Question," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1067-89, September.
    26. Moffitt, Robert, 1985. "Unemployment insurance and the distribution of unemployment spells," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 85-101, April.
    27. Topel, Robert H, 1984. "Equilibrium Earnings, Turnover, and Unemployment: New Evidence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(4), pages 500-522, October.
    28. David A. Matsa, 2010. "Capital Structure as a Strategic Variable: Evidence from Collective Bargaining," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(3), pages 1197-1232, 06.
    29. Hans G. Bloemen & Elena G. F. Stancanelli, 2005. "Financial Wealth, Consumption Smoothing and Income Shocks Arising from Job Loss," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 72(3), pages 431-452, 08.
    30. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275, February.
    31. Edward P. Lazear, 2003. "Firm-Specific Human Capital: A Skill-Weights Approach," NBER Working Papers 9679, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    32. Asquith, Paul & Gertner, Robert & Scharfstein, David, 1994. "Anatomy of Financial Distress: An Examination of Junk-Bond Issuers," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(3), pages 625-58, August.
    33. Jeffrey MacKie-Mason, 1988. "Do Taxes Affect Corporate Financing Decisions?," NBER Working Papers 2632, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    34. Topel, Robert H, 1983. "On Layoffs and Unemployment Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 541-59, September.
    35. Heitor Almeida & Thomas Philippon, 2005. "The Risk-Adjusted Cost of Financial Distress," NBER Working Papers 11685, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    36. Barry T. Hirsch & David A. Macpherson, 2003. "Union Membership and Coverage Database from the Current Population Survey: Note," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(2), pages 349-354, January.
    37. Christopher A. Hennessy & Toni M. Whited, 2005. "Debt Dynamics," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(3), pages 1129-1165, 06.
    38. Li, Elizabeth H, 1986. "Compensating Differentials for Cyclical and Noncyclical Unemployment: The Interaction between Investors' and Employees' Risk Aversion," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(2), pages 277-300, April.
    39. John R. Graham, 2000. "How Big Are the Tax Benefits of Debt?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(5), pages 1901-1941, October.
    40. Titman, Sheridan, 1984. "The effect of capital structure on a firm's liquidation decision," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 137-151, March.
    41. Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher A, 1994. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 397-415, July.
    42. John Graham & Campbell Harvey, 2002. "HOW DO CFOs MAKE CAPITAL BUDGETING AND CAPITAL STRUCTURE DECISIONS?," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 15(1), pages 8-23.
    43. Gruber, Jonathan, 1997. "The Consumption Smoothing Benefits of Unemployment Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 192-205, March.
    44. Opler, Tim C & Titman, Sheridan, 1994. " Financial Distress and Corporate Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(3), pages 1015-40, July.
    45. Ofek, Eli, 1993. "Capital structure and firm response to poor performance: An empirical analysis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 3-30, August.
    46. Jaggia, Priscilla Butt & Thakor, Anjan V, 1994. "Firm-Specific Human Capital and Optimal Capital Structure," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 35(2), pages 283-308, May.
    47. John, Kose & Lang, Larry H P & Netter, Jeffry, 1992. " The Voluntary Restructuring of Large Firms in Response to Performance Decline," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(3), pages 891-917, July.
    48. Michael Faulkender & Mitchell A. Petersen, 2003. "Does the Source of Capital Affect Capital Structure?," NBER Working Papers 9930, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    49. Bruce D. Meyer, 1995. "Lessons from the U.S. Unemployment Insurance Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 91-131, March.
    50. Meyer, Bruce D, 1990. "Unemployment Insurance and Unemployment Spells," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(4), pages 757-82, July.
    51. John R. Graham & Michael L. Lemmon & James S. Schallheim, 1998. "Debt, Leases, Taxes, and the Endogeneity of Corporate Tax Status," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(1), pages 131-162, 02.
    52. 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.
    53. Moffitt, Robert & Nicholson, Walter, 1982. "The Effect of Unemployment Insurance on Unemployment: The Case of Federal Supplemental Benefits," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(1), pages 1-11, February.
    54. Lazear, Edward, 2003. "Firm-Specific Human Capital: A Skill-Weights Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 813, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    55. Carlos A. Molina, 2005. "Are Firms Underleveraged? An Examination of the Effect of Leverage on Default Probabilities," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(3), pages 1427-1459, 06.
    56. Titman, Sheridan & Wessels, Roberto, 1988. " The Determinants of Capital Structure Choice," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(1), pages 1-19, March.
    57. Anderson, Patricia M & Meyer, Bruce D, 1997. "Unemployment Insurance Takeup Rates and the After-Tax Value of Benefits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 913-37, August.
    58. Topel, Robert & Welch, Finis, 1980. "Unemployment Insurance: Survey and Extensions," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 47(187), pages 351-79, August.
    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:
    1. 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.

    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:eee:jfinec:v:108:y:2013:i:2:p:449-470. 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: (Zhang, Lei).

    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.