Organization Capital and the Cross-Section of Expected Returns
This paper studies the unique risk characteristics of organization capital. Using a stock measure of organization capital based on readily available accounting data, we find that firms with more organization capital relative to their industry peers outperform firms with less organization capital by 4.7% per year. A long short portfolio based on the ratio of the stock of organization capital to total assets within industries has a Sharpe ratio of 0.57. We construct a model featuring what we argue are the two most salient features of organization capital, namely that it is firm specific and that it is partially embodied in firms' labor input and thus cannot be wholly owned by shareholders. The model economy illustrates the sensitivity of organization capital to economic restructuring and the resulting risk premia required for high organization capital firms.
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