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Corporate Leverage and Employees’ Rights in Bankruptcy

Author

Listed:
  • Andrew Ellul

    (Kelley School of Business Indiana University, CSEF, ECGI and CEPR)

  • Marco Pagano

    (University of Naples Federico II, CSEF, EIEF, ECGI and CEPR)

Abstract

Corporate leverage responds differently to employees’ rights in bankruptcy depending on whether it is driven by strategic concerns in wage bargaining or by credit constraints. Using novel data on employees’ rights in bankruptcy, we estimate their impact on leverage, exploiting time-series, cross-country and firm-level variation in the data. For financially unconstrained firms, results accord with the strategic debt model: leverage increases more in response to rises in corporate property values or profitability if employees have strong seniority in liquidation and weak rights in restructuring. Instead, in financially constrained firms leverage responds less to these shocks if employees have stronger seniority.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Ellul & Marco Pagano, 2017. "Corporate Leverage and Employees’ Rights in Bankruptcy," EIEF Working Papers Series 1706, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Feb 2019.
  • Handle: RePEc:eie:wpaper:1706
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Stef, Nicolae & Zenou, Emmanuel, 2021. "Management-to-staff ratio and a firm's exit," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 252-260.
    3. Kuzmina, Olga, 2021. "Employment Flexibility and Capital Structure: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers 15819, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Bena, Jan & Ortiz-Molina, Hernán & Simintzi, Elena, 2022. "Shielding firm value: Employment protection and process innovation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 146(2), pages 637-664.
    5. Gan, Liu & Xia, Xin, 2019. "Idiosyncratic risk, managerial discretion and capital structure," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 586-599.
    6. Vega-Gutierrez, Pedro Luis & López-Iturriaga, Félix J. & Rodriguez-Sanz, Juan Antonio, 2021. "Labour market conditions and the corporate financing decision: A European analysis," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 58(C).
    7. Chava, Sudheer & Danis, András & Hsu, Alex, 2020. "The economic impact of right-to-work laws: Evidence from collective bargaining agreements and corporate policies," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 137(2), pages 451-469.
    8. Ricca, Leandro Telles & Jucá, Michele Nascimento & Hadad Junior, Eli, 2021. "Tax benefit and bankruptcy cost of debt," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 82-92.
    9. Zhou, Mengling & Li, Kexin & Chen, Zhongfei, 2021. "Corporate governance quality and financial leverage: Evidence from China," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 73(C).
    10. Mahlstedt, Robert & Weber, Rüdiger, 2020. "Risk Sharing Within and Outside the Firm: The Disparate Effects of Wrongful Discharge Laws on Expected Stock Returns," IZA Discussion Papers 13941, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. David A. Matsa, 2018. "Capital Structure and a Firm’s Workforce," NBER Working Papers 25125, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Jiang, Jiaoliang & Chen, Yulin, 2021. "How does labor protection influence corporate risk-taking? Evidence from China," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 68(C).
    13. Whited, Toni M, 2019. "JFE special issue on labor and finance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 133(3), pages 539-540.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • M40 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - General

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