IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Human capital costs, firm leverage, and unemployment rates

  • Akyol, Ali C.
  • Verwijmeren, Patrick
Registered author(s):

    Because bankruptcy is costly for employees, theoretical studies argue that firms with higher leverage have to pay their employees higher wages. In this paper we empirically test this prediction. We find that firm leverage is positively related to the wages of employees, both in the United States and in the Netherlands. In the United States, the positive relation between wages and leverage is strongest in the 21st century, which is a period that also shows a positive relation between wages and unemployment rates. We conclude that the human capital costs of bankruptcy are an important disadvantage of debt.

    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/S1042957313000168
    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.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Financial Intermediation.

    Volume (Year): 22 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 464-481

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinin:v:22:y:2013:i:3:p:464-481
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622875

    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. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
    2. Marco Pagano & Paolo Volpin, 2001. "The Political Economy of Finance," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(4), pages 502-519.
    3. Grubb, David B, 1986. "Topics in the OECD Phillips Curve," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(381), pages 55-79, March.
    4. 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.
    5. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
    6. 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.
    7. Perotti, Enrico C & Spier, Kathryn E, 1993. "Capital Structure as a Bargaining Tool: The Role of Leverage in Contract Renegotiation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1131-41, December.
    8. Titman, Sheridan & Wessels, Roberto, 1988. " The Determinants of Capital Structure Choice," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(1), pages 1-19, March.
    9. Williams, Nicolas, 2009. "Seniority, experience, and wages in the UK," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 272-283, June.
    10. Jeremy T. Fox, 2009. "Firm-Size Wage Gaps, Job Responsibility, and Hierarchical Matching," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 83-126, 01.
    11. Blanchard, Olivier Jean, 1991. "Wage Bargaining and Unemployment Persistence," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 23(3), pages 277-92, August.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. 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.
    15. 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.
    16. Michelacci, Claudio & Quadrini, Vincenzo, 2005. "Financial Markets and Wages," CEPR Discussion Papers 4867, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. 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.
    18. Kale, Jayant R. & Shahrur, Husayn, 2007. "Corporate capital structure and the characteristics of suppliers and customers," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 321-365, February.
    19. Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel Sullivan, 1992. "Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 92-11, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    20. 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.
    21. Michaelides, Marios, 2010. "Labour market oligopsonistic competition: The effect of worker immobility on wages," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 230-239, January.
    22. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew Oswald, 1995. "International Wage Curves," NBER Chapters, in: Differences and Changes in Wage Structures, pages 145-174 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. John Abowd & Orley Ashenfelter, 1980. "Anticipated Unemployment, Temporary Layoffs and Compensating Wage Differentials," Working Papers 517, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    24. 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.
    25. 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.
    26. Brown, Charles & Medoff, James, 1989. "The Employer Size-Wage Effect," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1027-59, October.
    27. Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel G. Sullivan, 1993. "Long-term earnings losses of high-seniority displaced workers," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Nov, pages 2-20.
    28. Maksimovic, Vojislav & Titman, Sheridan, 1991. "Financial Policy and Reputation for Product Quality," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 4(1), pages 175-200.
    29. 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.
    30. Michael Bruno & Jeffrey D. Sachs, 1985. "Economics of Worldwide Stagflation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number brun85-1, October.
    31. Dijk, Jouke van, 1998. "Differences in underemployment between the United States and the Netherlands," Research Report 98D26, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
    32. 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.
    33. Dasgupta, Sudipto & Sengupta, Kunal, 1993. "Sunk Investment, Bargaining and Choice of Capital Structure," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 34(1), pages 203-20, February.
    34. Anderson, Ronald C. & Duru, Augustine & Reeb, David M., 2012. "Investment policy in family controlled firms," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 1744-1758.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jfinin:v:22:y:2013:i:3:p:464-481. 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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.