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Labor Hiring, Investment, and Stock Return Predictability in the Cross Section

  • Belo, Frederico

    (University of MN)

  • Lin, Xiaoji

    (OH State University)

  • Bazdresch, Santiago

    (University of MN)

We study the impact of labor market frictions on asset prices in the cross section of US publicly traded firms. On average, firms with low hiring rates have higher future stock returns than firms with high hiring rates, a difference of 5.2% per annum. Interpreting a hiring decision as analogous to an investment decision, we propose a dynamic neoclassical investment-based model with labor and capital adjustment costs to explain this hiring return spread. Firms that are hiring relatively more have lower macroeconomic risk which explains why high hiring rates predicts low stock returns. The model matches the observed levels of the hiring return spread, key properties of the firm-level hiring and investment rates, and other empirical regularities. Our analysis suggest that labor market frictions can have a significant impact on asset prices in financial markets.

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Paper provided by Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 2012-17.

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Date of creation: Sep 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:ohidic:2012-17
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Web page: http://www.cob.ohio-state.edu/fin/dice/list.htm
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