Financial Constraints in Search Equilibrium

26 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2014

See all articles by Tito Boeri

Tito Boeri

Bocconi University - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Pietro Garibaldi

University of Turin - Faculty of Economics

Espen R. Moen

BI Norwegian Business School; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: November 2014

Abstract

The Great Recession has indicated that firms' leverage and access to finance are important for hiring and firing decisions. It is now empirically established that bank lending is correlated to employment losses when credit conditions deteriorate. We provide further evidence of this drawing on a new dataset that we assembled on employment adjustment and financial positions of European firms. Yet, in the Diamond Mortensen Pissarides (DMP) model there is no role for finance. All projects that display positive net present values are realized and financial markets are assumed to be perfect. What if financial markets are not perfect? Does a different access to finance influence the firm's hiring and firing decisions? The paper uses the concept of limited pledgeability proposed by Holmstrom and Tirole to integrate financial imperfections and labor market imperfections. A negative shock wipes out the firm's physical capital and leads to job destruction unless internal cash was accumulated by firms. If firms hold liquid assets they may thus protect their em search capital, defined as the cost of attracting and hiring workers. The paper explores the trade off between size and precautionary cash holdings in both partial and general equilibrium. We find that if labor market frictions disappear, so does the motive for firms to hold liquidity. This suggests a fundamental complementarity between labor market frictions and holding of liquid assets by firms.

Keywords: labor and finance, leverage, Pledgeability

JEL Classification: G01, J64

Suggested Citation

Boeri, Tito and Garibaldi, Pietro and Moen, Espen R., Financial Constraints in Search Equilibrium (November 2014). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP10266, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2532935

Tito Boeri (Contact Author)

Bocconi University - Department of Economics ( email )

Via Gobbi 5
Milan, 20136
Italy

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Pietro Garibaldi

University of Turin - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Facoltà di Economia
Corso Unione Sovietica 218 bis
Torino, 10134
Italy

Espen R. Moen

BI Norwegian Business School ( email )

Nydalsveien 37
Oslo, 0442
Norway

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

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