Do unemployment benefits affect the choice of debt source?
This study examines whether labor unemployment risk affects the choice of debt source. Specifically, we examine whether US unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, which reduce unemployment risk, lead to a heavy reliance on bank debt. Through difference-in-difference analysis, we find that firms in states with generous UI benefits tend to rely more on bank debt, supporting the monitoring avoidance channel. This finding is robust to a battery of robustness tests. We also find that the positive relationship between UI benefits and bank debt ratio is more pronounced in firms from highly unionized states, labor-intensive firms, and firms with higher asset substitution risk. Finally, we find that debt maturity (security) decreases (increases) when UI benefits increase. - 2019 Elsevier B.V.
- Finance & Economics [139 items ]