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Corporate Leverage and Employees’ Rights in Bankruptcy

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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.

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  • Andrew Ellul & Marco Pagano, 2017. "Corporate Leverage and Employees’ Rights in Bankruptcy," CSEF Working Papers 472, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy, revised 03 Jun 2018.
  • Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:472
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    1. Huafeng (JASON) Chen & Marcin Kacperczyk & Hernán Ortiz-Molina, 2011. "Do Nonfinancial Stakeholders Affect the Pricing of Risky Debt? Evidence from Unionized Workers," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 16(2), pages 347-383.
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    Keywords

    workers’ rights; bankruptcy; seniority; leverage; wage bargaining.;

    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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