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Employee well-being, firm leverage, and bankruptcy risk

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  • Verwijmeren, Patrick
  • Derwall, Jeroen

Abstract

Employees of liquidating firms are likely to lose income and non-pecuniary benefits of working for the firm, which makes bankruptcy costly for employees. This paper examines whether firms take these costs into account when deciding on the optimal amount of leverage. We find that firms with leading track records in employee well-being significantly reduce the probability of bankruptcy by operating with lower debt ratios. Moreover, we observe that firms with better employee track records have better credit ratings, even when we control for differences in firm leverage.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:34:y:2010:i:5:p:956-964
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Borgers, A.C.T., 2014. "Responsible investing : New insights into performance and tastes," Other publications TiSEM 587e777f-c242-4a44-968e-7, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    2. Bae, Kee-Hong & Kang, Jun-Koo & Wang, Jin, 2011. "Employee treatment and firm leverage: A test of the stakeholder theory of capital structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 130-153, April.
    3. Franklin Allen & Elena Carletti & Robert Marquez, 2015. "Stakeholder Governance, Competition, and Firm Value," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 19(3), pages 1315-1346.
    4. repec:kap:jbuset:v:144:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10551-015-2856-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Mejía Cubillos, Javier, 2012. "Propuesta metodológica para el cálculo del riesgo sistémico financiero en estudios de Historia Económica: Aplicación para el caso de la banca libre en Antioquia, 1888
      [A methodology for assessing f
      ," MPRA Paper 35460, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Derwall, Jeroen & Koedijk, Kees & Ter Horst, Jenke, 2011. "A tale of values-driven and profit-seeking social investors," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 2137-2147, August.
    7. repec:kap:jbuset:v:143:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10551-015-2758-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Nejadmalayeri, Ali & Singh, Manohar, 2012. "Corporate taxes, strategic default, and the cost of debt," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(11), pages 2900-2916.
    9. Anginer, Deniz & Mansi, Sattar & Warburton, A. Joseph & Yildizhan, Celim, 2011. "Firm Reputation and Cost of Debt Capital," MPRA Paper 64965, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 05 Jun 2015.
    10. Leventis, Stergios & Hasan, Iftekhar & Dedoulis, Emmanouil, 2013. "The cost of sin: The effect of social norms on audit pricing," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 152-165.
    11. Agrawal, Ashwini K. & Matsa, David A., 2013. "Labor unemployment risk and corporate financing decisions," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 69608, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. Chen, Chen & Chen, Yangyang & Hsu, Po-Hsuan & Podolski, Edward J., 2016. "Be nice to your innovators: Employee treatment and corporate innovation performance," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 78-98.
    15. repec:eee:mulfin:v:42-43:y:2017:i::p:1-10 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. El Ghoul, Sadok & Guedhami, Omrane & Kwok, Chuck C.Y. & Mishra, Dev R., 2011. "Does corporate social responsibility affect the cost of capital?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(9), pages 2388-2406, September.
    17. Chui, Andy C.W. & Kwok, Chuck C.Y. & (Stephen) Zhou, Gaoguang, 2016. "National culture and the cost of debt," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 1-19.
    18. Nofsinger, John & Varma, Abhishek, 2014. "Socially responsible funds and market crises," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 180-193.
    19. de Jong, Abe & Verbeek, Marno & Verwijmeren, Patrick, 2011. "Firms' debt-equity decisions when the static tradeoff theory and the pecking order theory disagree," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 1303-1314, May.
    20. Bertay, Ata & Uras, Burak, 2016. "Leverage, Bank Employee Compensation and Institutions," Discussion Paper 2016-004, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    21. repec:eee:jbrese:v:76:y:2017:i:c:p:24-33 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Ghaly, Mohamed & Dang, Viet Anh & Stathopoulos, Konstantinos, 2015. "Cash holdings and employee welfare," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 53-70.
    23. Chen, Jie & Leung, Woon Sau & Evans, Kevin P., 2016. "Are employee-friendly workplaces conducive to innovation?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 61-79.
    24. Borgers, Arian & Derwall, Jeroen & Koedijk, Kees & ter Horst, Jenke, 2013. "Stakeholder relations and stock returns: On errors in investors' expectations and learning," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 159-175.
    25. Lioui, Abraham & Sharma, Zenu, 2012. "Environmental corporate social responsibility and financial performance: Disentangling direct and indirect effects," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 100-111.

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