Bankruptcy and The Cost of Organized Labor: Evidence from Union Elections

Unionized workers are entitled to special treatment in bankruptcy court. This can be detrimental to other corporate stakeholders in default states, with unsecured creditors standing to lose the most. Using data on union elections covering several decades, we employ a regression discontinuity design to identify the effect of worker unionization on bondholders in bankruptcy states. Closely won union elections lead to significant bond value losses, especially when firms approach bankruptcy, have underfunded pension plans, and operate in non-RTW law states. Unionization is associated with longer, more convoluted, and costlier bankruptcy court proceedings. Unions further depress bondholders' recovery values as they are assigned seats on unsecured creditors' committees.


Publication Date:
Sep 01 2017
Date Submitted:
Nov 21 2018
ISSN:
1465-7368
Citation:
Review of Financial Studies
Note:
A freely accessible, full text version is available using the link(s) in External Resources.
External Resources:




 Record created 2018-11-21, last modified 2019-04-03


Rate this document:

Rate this document:
1
2
3
 
(Not yet reviewed)