Hard Debt, Soft CEOs, and Union Rents

Managerial Finance, Vol. 37, No. 8, pp. 736-764, 2011

56 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2007 Last revised: 15 Apr 2012

See all articles by Linus Wilson

Linus Wilson

University of Louisiana at Lafayette - College of Business Administration

Date Written: December 20, 2007

Abstract

Bond covenants may constrain managers from acquiescing to union wage demands. Yet, because high wages and high levels of worker discipline are substitutes, unions can win higher wages by raising the cost of detecting slack workers. In this case, shareholders may be better off delegating to a CEO with different objectives than their own. A top manager motivated to share surpluses with workers - a "soft" CEO - can encourage union members to adopt efficient production methods. In this context, shareholder value may be maximized by CEO incentive contracts with limited upsides, lower levels of pay, and some entrenchment protections.

Keywords: capital structure, CEO compensation, corporate control, entrenchment, efficiency wages, hostile takeovers, unions

JEL Classification: D23, G32, G34, K22, L2

Suggested Citation

Wilson, Linus, Hard Debt, Soft CEOs, and Union Rents (December 20, 2007). Managerial Finance, Vol. 37, No. 8, pp. 736-764, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=972153 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.972153

Linus Wilson (Contact Author)

University of Louisiana at Lafayette - College of Business Administration ( email )

Department of Economics & Finance
214 Hebrard Blvd., Room 326
Lafayette, LA 70504-0200
United States
(337) 482-6209 (Phone)
(337) 482-6675 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.linuswilson.com

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