Employee Well-being, Firm Leverage, and Bankruptcy Risk

P. Verwijmeren*, J.M.M. Derwall

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Employees of liquidating firms are likely to lose income and non-pecuniary benefits of working for the firm, which makes bankruptcy costly for employees. This paper examines whether firms take these costs into account when deciding on the optimal amount of leverage. We find that firms with leading track records in employee well-being significantly reduce the probability of bankruptcy by operating with lower debt ratios. Moreover, we observe that firms with better employee track records have better credit ratings, even when we control for differences in firm leverage.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)956-964
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Banking & Finance
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


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