Labor Unemployment Risk and Corporate Financing Decisions
|Authors:||Agrawal, Ashwini K.|
Matsa, David A.
|Abstract:||This paper examines the impact of labor unemployment risk on corporate financing decisions. Theory suggests that firms choose conservative financial policies partly as a means of mitigating worker exposure to unemployment risk. Using changes in state unemployment insurance benefit laws as a source of variation in the costs borne by workers during layoff spells, we explore the connection between unemployment risk and the corporate financing decisions of public firms in the United States. We find that increases in legally mandated unemployment benefits lead to increases in corporate leverage. The impact of reduced unemployment risk on financial policy is especially strong for firms that have greater layoff separation rates, labor intensity, and financing constraints. The estimated premium required to compensate workers for unemployment risk due to financial distress is about 57 basis points of firm value for a BBB-rated firm. These findings suggest that labor market frictions have a significant impact on corporate financing decisions.|
|Appears in Collections:||Finance Working Papers|
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