IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cen/wpaper/18-01.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Employee Clientele of Corporate Leverage: Evidence from Personal Labor Income Diversification

Author

Listed:
  • Jie (Jack) He
  • Tao Shu
  • Huan Yang

Abstract

Using employee job-level data, we empirically test the equilibrium matching between a firm’s debt usage and its employee job risk aversion (“clientele effect”), as predicted by the existing theories. We measure job risk aversion for a firm’s employees using their labor income concentration in the firm, calculated as the fraction of the employees’ total personal labor income or total household labor income that is accounted for by their income from this particular firm. Using a sample of about 1,400 U.S. public firms from 1990-2008, we find a robust negative relation between leverage and employee job risk aversion, which is consistent with the clientele effect. Specifically, when a firm’s existing employees have higher labor income concentration in it, the firm tends to have lower contemporaneous and future leverage. Moreover, in terms of new hires, firms with lower leverage are more likely to recruit employees with less alternative labor income. Our results continue to hold after we control for firm fixed effects, other employee characteristics such as wages, gender, age, race, and education, and managerial risk attitudes. Further, the matching between a firm’s leverage and its workers’ labor income concentration in it is more pronounced for firms with higher labor intensity and those in financial distress.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:18-01
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www2.census.gov/ces/wp/2018/CES-WP-18-01.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2018
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Paige Ouimet & Rebecca Zarutskie, 2011. "Who Works for Startups? The Relation between Firm Age, Employee Age, and Growth," Working Papers 11-31, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    3. 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.).
    4. Titman, Sheridan & Wessels, Roberto, 1988. " The Determinants of Capital Structure Choice," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(1), pages 1-19, March.
    5. Malmendier, Ulrike & Tate, Geoffrey, 2008. "Who makes acquisitions? CEO overconfidence and the market's reaction," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 20-43, July.
    6. Viral V. Acharya & Ramin P. Baghai & Krishnamurthy V. Subramanian, 2013. "Labor Laws and Innovation," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56(4), pages 997-1037.
    7. Heider, Florian & Ljungqvist, Alexander, 2015. "As certain as debt and taxes: Estimating the tax sensitivity of leverage from state tax changes," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(3), pages 684-712.
    8. Viral V. Acharya & Ramin P. Baghai & Krishnamurthy V. Subramanian, 2014. "Wrongful Discharge Laws and Innovation," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 27(1), pages 301-346, January.
    9. Cronqvist, Henrik & Makhija, Anil K. & Yonker, Scott E., 2012. "Behavioral consistency in corporate finance: CEO personal and corporate leverage," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 20-40.
    10. Ulrike Malmendier & Geoffrey Tate, 2005. "CEO Overconfidence and Corporate Investment," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(6), pages 2661-2700, December.
    11. Luigi Zingales, 2000. "In Search of New Foundations," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(4), pages 1623-1653, August.
    12. John, Kose & Knyazeva, Anzhela & Knyazeva, Diana, 2015. "Employee rights and acquisitions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 49-69.
    13. Bo Becker, 2006. "Wealth and Executive Compensation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(1), pages 379-397, February.
    14. Marianne Bertrand & Antoinette Schoar, 2003. "Managing with Style: The Effect of Managers on Firm Policies," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1169-1208.
    15. Paul H. Malatesta & Kathryn L. DeWenter, 2001. "State-Owned and Privately Owned Firms: An Empirical Analysis of Profitability, Leverage, and Labor Intensity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 320-334, March.
    16. Geoffrey Tate & Liu Yang, 2015. "The Bright Side of Corporate Diversification: Evidence from Internal Labor Markets," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 28(8), pages 2203-2249.
    17. Ellul, Andrew & Wang, Cong & Zhang, Kuo, 2016. "Labor Unemployment Risk and CEO Incentive Compensation," CEPR Discussion Papers 11634, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    18. 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.
    19. Anand M. Goel & Anjan V. Thakor, 2008. "Overconfidence, CEO Selection, and Corporate Governance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(6), pages 2737-2784, December.
    20. 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.
    21. 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.
    22. 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 1421-1460, December.
    23. 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.
    24. 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.
    25. Julian Atanassov & E. Han Kim, 2009. "Labor and Corporate Governance: International Evidence from Restructuring Decisions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(1), pages 341-374, February.
    26. Edward I. Altman, 1968. "Financial Ratios, Discriminant Analysis And The Prediction Of Corporate Bankruptcy," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 23(4), pages 589-609, September.
    27. 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.
    28. Yuhai Xuan, 2009. "Empire-Building or Bridge-Building? Evidence from New CEOs' Internal Capital Allocation Decisions," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(12), pages 4919-4948, December.
    29. Michael L. Lemmon & Michael R. Roberts & Jaime F. Zender, 2008. "Back to the Beginning: Persistence and the Cross‐Section of Corporate Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(4), pages 1575-1608, August.
    30. Graham, John R. & Tucker, Alan L., 2006. "Tax shelters and corporate debt policy," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 563-594, September.
    31. Tate, Geoffrey & Yang, Liu, 2015. "Female leadership and gender equity: Evidence from plant closure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 77-97.
    32. Edward I. Altman, 1968. "The Prediction Of Corporate Bankruptcy: A Discriminant Analysis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 23(1), pages 193-194, March.
    33. Paige Ouimet & Rebecca Zarutskie, 2011. "Acquiring Labor," Working Papers 11-32, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    34. Strebulaev, Ilya A. & Yang, Baozhong, 2013. "The mystery of zero-leverage firms," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(1), pages 1-23.
    35. Jonathan B. Cohn & Malcolm I. Wardlaw, 2016. "Financing Constraints and Workplace Safety," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 71(5), pages 2017-2058, October.
    36. Ouimet, Paige & Zarutskie, Rebecca, 2014. "Who works for startups? The relation between firm age, employee age, and growth," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(3), pages 386-407.
    37. Hackbarth, Dirk, 2008. "Managerial Traits and Capital Structure Decisions," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(4), pages 843-881, December.
    38. 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.
    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. David A. Matsa, 2018. "Capital Structure and a Firm’s Workforce," NBER Working Papers 25125, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Ghaly, Mohamed & Dang, Viet Anh & Stathopoulos, Konstantinos, 2015. "Cash holdings and employee welfare," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 53-70.
    3. Jiang, Jiaoliang & Chen, Yulin, 2021. "How does labor protection influence corporate risk-taking? Evidence from China," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 68(C).
    4. Dang, Viet A. & De Cesari, Amedeo & Phan, Hieu V., 2021. "Employment protection and share repurchases: Evidence from wrongful discharge laws," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 69(C).
    5. Brockman, Paul & Luo, Juan & Xu, Limin, 2020. "The impact of short-selling pressure on corporate employee relations," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 64(C).
    6. USHIJIMA Tatsuo, 2016. "Corporate Diversification, Employee Bargaining Power, and Wages," Discussion papers 16103, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    7. Shang, Chenguang, 2021. "Dare to play with fire? Managerial ability and the use of short-term debt," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 70(C).
    8. Antonczyk, Ron Christian & Salzmann, Astrid Juliane, 2014. "Overconfidence and optimism: The effect of national culture on capital structure," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 132-151.
    9. 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.
    10. Nico Dewaelheyns & Cynthia Van Hulle & Yannick Van Landuyt & Mathias Verreydt, 2021. "Labor Contracts, Wages and SME Failure," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(14), pages 1-15, July.
    11. 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.
    12. Danso, Albert & Lartey, Theophilus & Amankwah-Amoah, Joseph & Adomako, Samuel & Lu, Qinye & Uddin, Moshfique, 2019. "Market sentiment and firm investment decision-making," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 66(C).
    13. Woods, Keegan & Tan, Kelvin Jui Keng & Faff, Robert, 2019. "Labor unions and corporate financial leverage: The bargaining device versus crowding-out hypotheses," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 28-44.
    14. Olga Kuzmina, 2013. "Operating Flexibility and Capital Structure: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Working Papers w0197, New Economic School (NES).
    15. Ellul, Andrew & Wang, Cong & Zhang, Kuo, 2016. "Labor Unemployment Risk and CEO Incentive Compensation," CEPR Discussion Papers 11634, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    16. Margarita Carvalho & João Cerejeira, 2019. "Level Leverage decisions and manager characteristics," NIPE Working Papers 09/2019, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
    17. 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.
    18. Lin, Chen & Schmid, Thomas & Xuan, Yuhai, 2018. "Employee representation and financial leverage," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(2), pages 303-324.
    19. Liu, Guanchun & Liu, Yuanyuan & Zhang, Chengsi & Zhu, Yueteng, 2021. "Social insurance law and corporate financing decisions in China," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 190(C), pages 816-837.
    20. Bharati, Rakesh & Doellman, Thomas & Fu, Xudong, 2016. "CEO confidence and stock returns," Journal of Contemporary Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 89-110.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    clientele effect; personal labor income diversification; employee job risk aversion; leverage; capital structure; Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics database;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - 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

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    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:cen:wpaper:18-01. 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: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cesgvus.html .

    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: Dawn Anderson (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cesgvus.html .

    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.