Does Wage Rigidity Make Firms Riskier? Evidence from Long-Horizon Return Predictability
Charles A. Dice Center Working Paper No. 2012-19
36 Pages Posted: 8 Oct 2012 Last revised: 17 Dec 2015
Date Written: November 30, 2015
We explore the relationship between sticky wages and risk. Like operating leverage, sticky wages are a source of risk for the firm. Firms, industries, regions, or times with especially high or rigid wages are especially risky. If wages are sticky, then wage growth should negatively forecast future stock returns because falling wages are associated with even bigger falls in output, and increases in operating leverage. Indeed, this is the case in aggregate, industry, and U.S. state level data. Furthermore, this relation is stronger in industries and U.S. states with higher wage rigidity.
Keywords: Wage Rigidity, Equity Risk, Long Run Return Predictability, Cross Section of Asset Pricing
JEL Classification: E21, E23, E32, E44, G12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation