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Labor and the market value of the firm

Merz, Monika and Yashiv, Eran (2005) Labor and the market value of the firm. CEDP, 690. Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK. ISBN 0753018705

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Abstract

What role does labor play in a firm’s market value? We explore this question using a production-based asset pricing model with frictions in the adjustment of both capital and labor. We posit that hiring of labor is akin to investment in capital and that the two interact, with the interaction being a crucial determinant of the time series behavior of market value. We use aggregate U.S. corporate sector data to estimate firms' optimal hiring and investment decisions and the consequences for firms' value. The model generates a good fit of the data. We decompose the estimated market value, thereby quantifying the link between firms' value and gross hiring flows, employment, gross investment flows, and physical capital. We find that a conventional specification -- quadratic adjustment costs for capital and no hiring costs -- performs poorly. Hiring and investment flows, unlike employment and capital stocks, are volatile and both are essential to account for market value volatility. A key result is that firms' value embodies the value of hiring and investment over and above the capital stock.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk
Additional Information: © 2005 the authors
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Journal of Economic Literature Classification System: G - Financial Economics > G1 - General Financial Markets > G12 - Asset Pricing; Trading volume; Bond Interest Rates
E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics > E2 - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment > E24 - Macroeconomics: Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution (includes wage indexation)
E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics > E2 - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment > E22 - Capital; Investment (including Inventories); Capacity
E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics > E2 - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment > E23 - Production
Sets: Collections > Economists Online
Research centres and groups > Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Departments > Economics
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Identification Number: 690
Date Deposited: 23 Jul 2008 16:31
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/19891/

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