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How Does Labor Market Size Affect Firm Capital Structure? Evidence from Large Plant Openings

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  • Hyunseob Kim

Abstract

I examine how the labor market in which firms operate affects their capital structure decisions. Using the US Census Bureau data, I exploit a large plant opening as an abrupt increase in the size of a local labor market. I find that a new plant opening leads to a 2.6% to 3.9% increase in the debt-to-capital ratio of existing firms in the “winner” county relative to the “runner-up” choice. This result is consistent with larger labor markets making a job loss less costly, which in turn reduces indirect costs of financial distress. Moreover, this spillover effect is larger for firms 1) that have a larger fraction of employees in the affected county, 2) that employ the same type of workers as the new plant, and 3) that have larger unexploited benefits of debt.

Suggested Citation

  • Hyunseob Kim, 2015. "How Does Labor Market Size Affect Firm Capital Structure? Evidence from Large Plant Openings," Working Papers 15-38, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:15-38
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    Cited by:

    1. Timothy E. Dore & Rebecca Zarutskie, 2017. "Firm Leverage, Labor Market Size, and Employee Pay," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2017-078, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    2. Nicholas Bloom & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lucia Foster & Ron Jarmin & Megha Patnaik & Itay Saporta-Eksten & John Van Reenen, 2019. "What Drives Differences in Management Practices?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(5), pages 1648-1683, May.
    3. David A. Matsa, 2018. "Capital Structure and a Firm’s Workforce," NBER Working Papers 25125, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Timothy E. Dore & Rebecca Zarutskie, 2018. "Firm Leverage, Labor Market Size, and Employee Pay," Working Papers 18-36, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    5. Jie (Jack) He & Tao Shu & Huan Yang, 2018. "The Employee Clientele of Corporate Leverage: Evidence from Personal Labor Income Diversification," Working Papers 18-01, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • G33 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Bankruptcy; Liquidation

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