IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/now/fntfin/0500000059.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Risk Sharing Within the Firm: A Primer

Author

Listed:
  • Pagano, Marco

Abstract

Labor income risk is key to the welfare of most people. This risk is mainly insured “within the firm†and by public institutions, rather than by financial markets. This monograph starts by asking why such insurance is provided within the firm, and what determines its boundaries. It identifies four main constraining factors: availability of a public safety net, moral hazard on the employees’ side, moral hazard on the firms’ side, and workers’ wage bargaining power. These factors explain three empirical regularities: (i) family firms provide more employment insurance than nonfamily firms; (ii) the former pay lower real wages; and (iii) firms provide less employment insurance where public unemployment benefits are more generous. The monograph also explores the connection between risk sharing and firms’ capital structure: greater leverage calls for high wages to compensate employees for greater job risk; nevertheless, firms may want to lever up strategically in order to offset the bargaining power of labor unions. Hence, the distributional conflict between shareholders and workers may limit risk sharing within the firm. By contrast, bondholders and workers are not necessarily in conflict, as both are harmed by firms’ risk-taking. In principle, firms may also insure employees against uncertainty about their own talent, but their capacity to do so is constrained by workers’ inability to commit to their employer: in the presence of labor market competition, high-talent employees will leave unless paid in line with their high productivity, making uncertainty about talent uninsurable. The monograph concludes by showing that risk sharing within firms has declined steadily in the last three decades, and by discussing the financial, competitive, technological and institutional developments that may have conjured this outcome.

Suggested Citation

  • Pagano, Marco, 2020. "Risk Sharing Within the Firm: A Primer," Foundations and Trends(R) in Finance, now publishers, vol. 12(2), pages 117-198, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:now:fntfin:0500000059
    DOI: 10.1561/0500000059
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/0500000059
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1561/0500000059?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Reint Gropp & John Karl Scholz & Michelle J. White, 1997. "Personal Bankruptcy and Credit Supply and Demand," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 217-251.
    2. Topel, Robert H, 1983. "On Layoffs and Unemployment Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 541-559, September.
    3. Jacobson, Louis S & LaLonde, Robert J & Sullivan, Daniel G, 1993. "Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 685-709, September.
    4. Marco Pagano & Luca Picariello, 2017. "Talent Discovery, Layoff Risk and Unemployment Insurance," CSEF Working Papers 480, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy, revised 23 May 2018.
    5. 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, vol. 17(Nov), pages 2-20.
    6. Efraim Benmelech & Nittai K. Bergman & Ricardo J. Enriquez, 2012. "Negotiating with Labor under Financial Distress," Review of Corporate Finance Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(1), pages 28-67.
    7. Hanno Lustig & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh & Adrien Verdelhan, 2013. "The Wealth-Consumption Ratio," Review of Asset Pricing Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(1), pages 38-94.
    8. Andrew Ellul & Marco Pagano & Fabiano Schivardi, 2018. "Employment and Wage Insurance within Firms: Worldwide Evidence," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 31(4), pages 1298-1340.
    9. E Han Kim & Ernst Maug & Christoph Schneider, 2018. "Labor Representation in Governance as an Insurance Mechanism," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 22(4), pages 1251-1289.
    10. Giacinta Cestone & Chiara Fumagalli & Francis Kramaz & Giovanni Pica, 2015. "Insurance Between Firms: The Role of Internal Labor Markets," CSEF Working Papers 386, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy, revised 22 Jan 2020.
    11. Andrew Ellul & Marco Pagano & Annalisa Scognamiglio & Wei Jiang, 2020. "Career Risk and Market Discipline in Asset Management," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 33(2), pages 783-828.
    12. Andrei Shleifer & Lawrence H. Summers, 1988. "Breach of Trust in Hostile Takeovers," NBER Chapters, in: Corporate Takeovers: Causes and Consequences, pages 33-68, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. 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 1131-1141, December.
    14. Tito Boeri & J. Ignacio Conde-Ruiz & Vincenzo Galasso, 2012. "The Political Economy Of Flexicurity," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 684-715, August.
    15. 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.
    16. 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.
    17. N. Guertzgen, 2014. "Wage insurance within German firms: do institutions matter?," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 177(2), pages 345-369, February.
    18. Henrik Cronqvist & Fredrik Heyman & Mattias Nilsson & Helena Svaleryd & Jonas Vlachos, 2009. "Do Entrenched Managers Pay Their Workers More?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(1), pages 309-339, February.
    19. Steven Shavell, 1979. "Risk Sharing and Incentives in the Principal and Agent Relationship," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 55-73, Spring.
    20. 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, June.
    21. Donangelo, Andres & Gourio, François & Kehrig, Matthias & Palacios, Miguel, 2019. "The cross-section of labor leverage and equity returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 132(2), pages 497-518.
    22. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1971. "The Private and Social Value of Information and the Reward to Inventive Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(4), pages 561-574, September.
    23. Hamish Low & Costas Meghir & Luigi Pistaferri, 2010. "Wage Risk and Employment Risk over the Life Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1432-1467, September.
    24. Daniel Sullivan & Till von Wachter, 2009. "Job Displacement and Mortality: An Analysis Using Administrative Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1265-1306.
    25. Viral Acharya & Marco Pagano & Paolo Volpin, 2016. "Seeking Alpha: Excess Risk Taking and Competition for Managerial Talent," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 29(10), pages 2565-2599.
    26. 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 155-185, April.
    27. Lusher, Lester & Schnorr, Geoffrey & Taylor, Rebecca L.C., 2021. "Unemployment Insurance as a Worker Indiscipline Device? Evidence from Scanner Data," IZA Discussion Papers 14105, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    28. Daron Acemoglu & Pascual Restrepo, 2020. "Robots and Jobs: Evidence from US Labor Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 128(6), pages 2188-2244.
    29. Eckbo, B. Espen & Thorburn, Karin S. & Wang, Wei, 2016. "How costly is corporate bankruptcy for the CEO?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1), pages 210-229.
    30. Holger M. Mueller & Thomas Philippon, 2011. "Family Firms and Labor Relations," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 218-245, April.
    31. Gábor Kátay, 2016. "Do Firms Provide Wage Insurance against Shocks?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 118(1), pages 105-128, January.
    32. Ana Rute Cardoso & Miguel Portela, 2009. "Micro Foundations for Wage Flexibility: Wage Insurance at the Firm Level," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 111(1), pages 29-50, March.
    33. 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.
    34. Juan J Dolado & Carlos Garcia--Serrano & Juan F. Jimeno, 2002. "Drawing Lessons From The Boom Of Temporary Jobs In Spain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(721), pages 270-295, June.
    35. Giroud, Xavier & Mueller, Holger M, 2015. "Capital and Labor Reallocation within Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 10360, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    36. David Sraer & David Thesmar, 2007. "Performance and Behavior of Family Firms: Evidence from the French Stock Market," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(4), pages 709-751, June.
    37. Browning, Martin & Crossley, Thomas F., 2001. "Unemployment insurance benefit levels and consumption changes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 1-23, April.
    38. 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.
    39. Laeven, Luc & Valencia, Fabián, 2012. "The use of blanket guarantees in banking crises," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 1220-1248.
    40. Kevin F. Hallock, 2009. "Job Loss and the Fraying of the Implicit Employment Contract," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(4), pages 69-93, Fall.
    41. David H. Autor, 2019. "Work of the Past, Work of the Future," AEA Papers and Proceedings, American Economic Association, vol. 109, pages 1-32, May.
    42. Azariadis, Costas, 1975. "Implicit Contracts and Underemployment Equilibria," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(6), pages 1183-1202, December.
    43. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-444, June.
    44. Tito Boeri & Giulia Giupponi & Alan B. Krueger & Stephen Machin, 2020. "Solo Self-Employment and Alternative Work Arrangements: A Cross-Country Perspective on the Changing Composition of Jobs," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 170-195, Winter.
    45. Rettl, Daniel A. & Stomper, Alex & Zechner, Josef, 2016. "The stability of dividends and wages: Effects of competitor inflexibility," CFS Working Paper Series 549, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    46. John R. Graham & Hyunseob Kim & Si Li & Jiaping Qiu, 2019. "Employee Costs of Corporate Bankruptcy," NBER Working Papers 25922, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    47. Jonathan B. Berk & Johan Walden, 2013. "Limited Capital Market Participation and Human Capital Risk," Review of Asset Pricing Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(1), pages 1-37.
    48. Baghai, Ramin P. & Silva, Rui C & Thell, Viktor & Vig, Vikrant, 2020. "Talent in Distressed Firms: Investigating the Labor Costs of Financial Distress," CEPR Discussion Papers 14383, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    49. 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, June.
    50. Xavier Giroud & Holger M. Mueller, 2015. "Capital and Labor Reallocation within Firms," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 70(4), pages 1767-1804, August.
    51. Brett W. Myers & Alessio Saretto, 2016. "Does Capital Structure Affect the Behavior of Nonfinancial Stakeholders? An Empirical Investigation into Leverage and Union Strikes," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 62(11), pages 3235-3253, November.
    52. Elena Simintzi & Vikrant Vig & Paolo Volpin, 2015. "Labor Protection and Leverage," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 28(2), pages 561-591.
    53. Ryan Michaels & T Beau Page & Toni M Whited, 2019. "Labor and Capital Dynamics under Financing Frictions," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 23(2), pages 279-323.
    54. Milton Harris & Bengt Holmstrom, 1982. "A Theory of Wage Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(3), pages 315-333.
    55. 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.
    56. Bach, Laurent & Serrano-Velarde, Nicolas, 2015. "CEO identity and labor contracts: Evidence from CEO transitions," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 227-242.
    57. Karl V. Lins & Paolo Volpin & Hannes F. Wagner, 2013. "Does Family Control Matter? International Evidence from the 2008--2009 Financial Crisis," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 26(10), pages 2583-2619.
    58. Stephen G. Bronars & Donald R. Deere, 1991. "The Threat of Unionization, the Use of Debt, and the Preservation of Shareholder Wealth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(1), pages 231-254.
    59. Gruber, Jonathan, 1997. "The Consumption Smoothing Benefits of Unemployment Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 192-205, March.
    60. Topel, Robert & Welch, Finis, 1980. "Unemployment Insurance: Survey and Extensions," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 47(187), pages 351-379, August.
    61. Martin Browning & Thomas F. Crossley, 2009. "Shocks, Stocks, and Socks: Smoothing Consumption Over a Temporary Income Loss," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(6), pages 1169-1192, December.
    62. Martin Neil Baily, 1974. "Wages and Employment under Uncertain Demand," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(1), pages 37-50.
    63. Jean-Pierre Danthine & John B. Donaldson, 2002. "Labour Relations and Asset Returns," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 41-64.
    64. Lin, Chen & Schmid, Thomas & Xuan, Yuhai, 2018. "Employee representation and financial leverage," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(2), pages 303-324.
    65. 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.
    66. 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 203-220, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Andrew Ellul & Marco Pagano & Fabiano Schivardi, 2018. "Employment and Wage Insurance within Firms: Worldwide Evidence," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 31(4), pages 1298-1340.
    2. David A. Matsa, 2018. "Capital Structure and a Firm’s Workforce," NBER Working Papers 25125, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Ellul, Andrew & Pagano, Marco, 2019. "Corporate leverage and employees’ rights in bankruptcy," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 133(3), pages 685-707.
    4. Schmalz, Martin, 2018. "Unionization, Cash, and Leverage," CEPR Discussion Papers 12595, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Luigi Guiso & Luigi Pistaferri, 2020. "The insurance role of the firm," The Geneva Risk and Insurance Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Association for the Study of Insurance Economics (The Geneva Association), vol. 45(1), pages 1-23, March.
    6. John R. Graham & Hyunseob Kim & Si Li & Jiaping Qiu, 2019. "Employee Costs of Corporate Bankruptcy," NBER Working Papers 25922, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. 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.
    8. Antoni, Manfred & Maug, Ernst & Obernberger, Stefan, 2019. "Private equity and human capital risk," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 133(3), pages 634-657.
    9. Lin, Chen & Schmid, Thomas & Xuan, Yuhai, 2018. "Employee representation and financial leverage," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(2), pages 303-324.
    10. 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.
    11. Pezone, Vincenzo, 2017. "Unemployment Risk and Payout Policies," MPRA Paper 83918, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Martin Olsson & Joacim Tåg, 2017. "Private Equity, Layoffs, and Job Polarization," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(3), pages 697-754.
    13. Kerndler, Martin, 2019. "Size and persistence matter: Wage and employment insurance at the micro level," ECON WPS - Working Papers in Economic Theory and Policy 04/2019, TU Wien, Institute of Statistics and Mathematical Methods in Economics, Economics Research Unit.
    14. Allen, Jason & Thompson, James R., 2019. "Variable pay: Is it for the worker or the firm?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 551-566.
    15. Guan, Yanling & Tang, Dragon Yongjun, 2018. "Employees' risk attitude and corporate risk taking: Evidence from pension asset allocations," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 261-274.
    16. Matthias Efing & Harald Hau & Patrick Kampkktter & Jean-Charles Rochet, 2018. "Bank Bonus Pay as a Risk Sharing Contract," Working Papers hal-01847442, HAL.
    17. Giacinta Cestone & Chiara Fumagalli & Francis Kramaz & Giovanni Pica, 2015. "Insurance Between Firms: The Role of Internal Labor Markets," CSEF Working Papers 386, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy, revised 22 Jan 2020.
    18. Kim, Hyunseob, 2020. "How does labor market size affect firm capital structure? Evidence from large plant openings," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 138(1), pages 277-294.
    19. Chino, Atsushi, 2016. "Do labor unions affect firm payout policy?: Operating leverage and rent extraction effects," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 156-178.
    20. Ghaly, Mohamed & Kostakis, Alexandros & Stathopoulos, Konstantinos, 2021. "The (non-) effect of labor unionization on firm risk: Evidence from the options market," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 66(C).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Risk sharing; insurance; unemployment; public safety net; social insurance; trade unions; implicit contracts; family-owned firms; firm ownership;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G39 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Other
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings
    • M51 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Firm Employment Decisions; Promotions
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:now:fntfin:0500000059. 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: . General contact details of provider: http://www.nowpublishers.com/ .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Alet Heezemans (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.nowpublishers.com/ .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.