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Firing the Wrong Workers: Financing Constraints and Labor Misallocation

Author

Listed:
  • Vicente Cunat

    (London School of Economics)

  • Daniel Metzger

    (Stockholm School of Economics)

  • Andrea Caggese

    (Pompeu Fabra University)

Abstract

This paper studies the effect of firms’ financing constraints on the decision of which workers to fire. Firms need to consider wages, current and expected productivity as well as firing and hiring costs when firing a worker. Financing constraints distort this inter-temporal trade-off leading firms to sub-optimal firing decisions. In particular, financially constrained firms may fire the wrong type of workers (e.g., workers with steeper productivity profiles or lower firing costs) relative to unconstrained firms. We provide empirical evidence of this distortion using matched employer-employee data from the Swedish population between 1990 and 2010. Financing constraints are identified using a regression discontinuity approach on the determination of a public discrete credit rating and a within firm-year estimator. Negative firm shocks are identified from firm-specific trade patterns and exchange rate fluctuations. Our empirical results reveal an important new misallocation effect of financial frictions that operates within firms across different types of workers.

Suggested Citation

  • Vicente Cunat & Daniel Metzger & Andrea Caggese, 2017. "Firing the Wrong Workers: Financing Constraints and Labor Misallocation," 2017 Meeting Papers 632, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed017:632
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    2. Emilio Gutierrez & David Jaume & Martín Tobal, 2021. "Do Credit Supply Shocks Affect Employment in Middle-Income Countries?," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0277, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    3. 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).
    4. Pierre Cahuc & Francis Kramarz & Sandra Nevoux, 2018. "When Short-Time Work Works," Sciences Po publications 2018-03, Sciences Po.
    5. Adamopoulou, Effrosyni & De Philippis, Marta & Sette, Enrico & Viviano, Eliana, 2020. "The Long Run Earnings Effects of a Credit Market Disruption," IZA Discussion Papers 13185, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Arabzadeh, Hamzeh & Balleer, Almut & Gehrke, Britta, 2020. "Uncovering the mechanism(s): Financial constraints and wages," CEPR Discussion Papers 15585, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Pahontu, Raluca L., 2021. "Divisive jobs: three facets of risk, precarity, and redistribution," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 111593, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    8. Brown, James R. & Martinsson, Gustav & Thomann, Christian, 2021. "Government lending in a crisis," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 71(C).
    9. Maria D. Tito & Ruoying Wang, 2021. "Misallocation in Open Economy," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2021-007, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    10. Richard Friberg & Mark Sanctuary, 2020. "Exchange rate risk and the skill composition of labor," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 156(2), pages 287-312, May.
    11. Gregor Bäurle & Sarah M. Lein & Elizabeth Steiner, 2017. "Employment Adjustment and Financial Constraints - Evidence from Firm-level Data," Working Papers 2017-18, Swiss National Bank.
    12. Julia Fonseca & Bernardus Van Doornik, 2020. "Financial Development and Labor Markets: evidence from Brazil," Working Papers Series 532, Central Bank of Brazil, Research Department.
    13. Bäurle, Gregor & Lein, Sarah M. & Steiner, Elizabeth, 2021. "Employment adjustment and financial tightness – Evidence from firm-level data," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 115(C).
    14. Kárpáti, Daniel & Renneboog, Luc, 2021. "Corporate Financial Frictions and Employee Mental Health," Discussion Paper 2021-003, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    15. Marshall, Ben R. & Nguyen, Justin Hung & Nguyen, Nhut H. & Visaltanachoti, Nuttawat, 2021. "Does a change in the information environment affect labor adjustment costs?," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 74(C).
    16. Mabel D. Costa & Ahsan Habib & Md. Borhan Uddin Bhuiyan, 2021. "Financial constraints and asymmetric cost behavior," Journal of Management Control: Zeitschrift für Planung und Unternehmenssteuerung, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 33-83, March.
    17. Baghai, Ramin P. & Silva, Rui C & Thell, Viktor & Vig, Vikrant, 2020. "Talent in Distressed Firms: Investigating the Labor Costs of Financial Distress," CEPR Discussion Papers 14383, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    18. Hao, Yu & Gai, Zhiqiang & Wu, Haitao, 2020. "How do resource misallocation and government corruption affect green total factor energy efficiency? Evidence from China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    19. Barbosa, Luciana & Bilan, Andrada & Célérier, Claire, 2019. "Credit supply and human capital: evidence from bank pension liabilities," Working Paper Series 2271, European Central Bank.
    20. Guler, Ozan & Mariathasan, Mike & Mulier, Klaas & Okatan, Nejat G., 2019. "The Real Effects of Credit Supply: Review, Synthesis, and Future Directions," MPRA Paper 96542, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    21. Thang Bach & Charles Harvie & Thanh Le, 2021. "How credit constraints affect small and medium enterprises' strategic employment decisions and employees' labour outcomes: Evidence from Vietnam1," Economics of Transition and Institutional Change, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 29(2), pages 319-341, April.
    22. Ettore Panetti & Edoardo M. Acabbi & Alessandro Sforza, 2019. "The Financial Channels of Labor Rigidities: Evidence from Portugal," Working Papers w201915, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    23. David A. Matsa, 2018. "Capital Structure and a Firm’s Workforce," NBER Working Papers 25125, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. Jiang, Jiaoliang & Chen, Yulin, 2021. "How does labor protection influence corporate risk-taking? Evidence from China," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 68(C).
    25. 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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    JEL classification:

    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns
    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General
    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance
    • G3 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance

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