IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Human Capital, Bankruptcy and Capital Structure

  • Jonathan B. Berk
  • Richard Stanton
  • Josef Zechner

We derive a firm's optimal capital structure and managerial compensation contract when employees are averse to bearing their own human capital risk, while equity holders can diversify this risk away. In the presence of corporate taxes, our model delivers optimal debt levels consistent with those observed in practice. It also makes a number of predictions for the cross-sectional distribution of firm leverage. Consistent with existing empirical evidence, it implies persistent idiosyncratic differences in leverage across firms. An important new empirical prediction of the model is that, ceteris paribus, firms with more leverage should pay higher wages.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w13014.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13014.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Apr 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Berk, Jonathan B., Richard Stanton,and Josef Zechner. "Human Capital, Bankruptcy and Capital Structure." Journal of Finance 65, 3 (June 2010): 891-926.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13014
Note: AP CF
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.org
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Chang, Chun, 1992. " Capital Structure as an Optimal Contract between Employees and Investors," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(3), pages 1141-58, July.
  2. Harris, Milton & Holstrom, Bengt, 1982. "A Theory of Wage Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(3), pages 315-33, July.
  3. Miller, Merton H, 1988. "The Modigliani-Miller Propositions after Thirty Years," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 99-120, Fall.
  4. Haugen, Robert A & Senbet, Lemma W, 1978. "The Insignificance of Bankruptcy Costs to the Theory of Optimal Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 33(2), pages 383-93, May.
  5. Eugene F. Fama & Kenneth R. French, . "Testing Tradeoff and Pecking Order Predictions about Dividends and Debt.”," CRSP working papers 506, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  6. 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, 08.
  7. Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1994. "A Theory of Debt Based on the Inalienability of Human Capital," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 841-79, November.
  8. Alan Krueger, 1999. "Measuring Labor's Share," NBER Working Papers 7006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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 155-85, April.
  10. Luigi Guiso & Luigi Pistaferri & Fabiano Schivardi, 2002. "Insurance within the firm," 10th International Conference on Panel Data, Berlin, July 5-6, 2002 C3-1, International Conferences on Panel Data.
  11. Cadenillas, Abel & Cvitanic, Jaksa & Zapatero, Fernando, 2004. "Leverage decision and manager compensation with choice of effort and volatility," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 71-92, July.
  12. Philip E. Berger & Eli Ofek & David Yermack, 1996. "Managerial Entrenchment and Capital Structure Decisions," New York University, Leonard N. Stern School Finance Department Working Paper Seires 96-14, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business-.
  13. Kalay, Avner & Singhal, Rajeev & Tashjian, Elizabeth, 2007. "Is Chapter 11 costly?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 772-796, June.
  14. Lucian Bebchuk, . "The Costs of Entrenched Boards," American Law & Economics Association Annual Meetings 1091, American Law & Economics Association.
  15. Erwan Morellec, 2004. "Can Managerial Discretion Explain Observed Leverage Ratios?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 17(1), pages 257-294.
  16. Berens, James L & Cuny, Charles J, 1995. "The Capital Structure Puzzle Revisited," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 8(4), pages 1185-1208.
  17. Gregor Andrade & Steven N. Kaplan, 1997. "How Costly is Financial (not Economic) Distress? Evidence from Highly Leveraged Transactions that Became Distressed," NBER Working Papers 6145, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Thomas, Jonathan & Worrall, Tim, 1988. "Self-enforcing Wage Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 541-54, October.
  19. Gale, Douglas & Hellwig, Martin, 1985. "Incentive-Compatible Debt Contracts: The One-Period Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 647-63, October.
  20. Peter M. DeMarzo & Michael J. Fishman, 2007. "Optimal Long-Term Financial Contracting," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 20(6), pages 2079-2128, November.
  21. Gilson, Stuart C & Vetsuypens, Michael R, 1993. " CEO Compensation in Financially Distressed Firms: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(2), pages 425-58, June.
  22. Kraus, Alan & Litzenberger, Robert H, 1973. "A State-Preference Model of Optimal Financial Leverage," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 28(4), pages 911-22, September.
  23. Charles Brown & James L. Medoff, 1989. "The Employer Size-Wage Effect," NBER Working Papers 2870, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Holmstrom, Bengt, 1983. "Equilibrium Long-Term Labor Contracts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(3), pages 23-54, Supplemen.
  25. Graham, John R. & Harvey, Campbell R., 2001. "The theory and practice of corporate finance: evidence from the field," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2-3), pages 187-243, May.
  26. 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.
  27. Elazar Berkovitch & Ronen Israel & Yossef Spiegel, 2000. "Managerial Compensation and Capital Structure," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(4), pages 549-584, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13014. 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: ()

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

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

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.