Corporate Leverage and Employees’ Rights in Bankruptcy

72 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2017 Last revised: 29 Mar 2019

See all articles by Andrew Ellul

Andrew Ellul

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Finance; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); University of Naples Federico II - CSEF - Center for Studies in Economics and Finance

Marco Pagano

University of Naples Federico II - Department of Economics and Statistics; Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF); Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Date Written: March 16, 2019

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.

Keywords: workers’ rights, bankruptcy, seniority, leverage, wage bargaining

JEL Classification: G31, G32, G38, H25, H26, M40

Suggested Citation

Ellul, Andrew and Pagano, Marco, Corporate Leverage and Employees’ Rights in Bankruptcy (March 16, 2019). Kelley School of Business Research Paper No. 17-33. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2954342 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2954342

Andrew Ellul (Contact Author)

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Finance ( email )

1309 E. 10th St.
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

University of Naples Federico II - CSEF - Center for Studies in Economics and Finance ( email )

Via Cintia
Complesso Monte S. Angelo
Naples, Naples 80126
Italy

Marco Pagano

University of Naples Federico II - Department of Economics and Statistics ( email )

Via Cintia - Monte S. Angelo
Napoli, 80126
Italy
+39 081 675306 (Phone)
+39 081 7663540 (Fax)

Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF) ( email )

Via Cintia
Complesso Monte S. Angelo
Naples, Naples 80126
Italy

Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF)

Via Sallustiana, 62
Rome, 00187
Italy

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http:/www.ecgi.org

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