Theses Doctoral

Three Essays on the Economics of Contracts in Labor and Corporate Debt Market

Yuan, Ding

Chapter 1 studies wage contracts and their roles in workers’ employment and wage dynamics, as well as the implications on income inequality. I develop an on-the-job search model that allows for different types of wage contracts. Using indirect inference method, I am able to estimate the structural model and evaluate the impact of different productivity elements, including firm productivity, returns to routine task and individual effort. The model is able to capture key measures on worker’s labor market mobility, wage growth and distribution. It also allows me to evaluate the implications of productivity change on income inequality through counterfactual analysis. I show that these productivity elements have different implications on income inequality, and the use of performance based wage contract is an important channel for income polarization at the top percentiles.
Chapter 2 studies the effect of overtime pay on workers’ working schedule and income. How overtime pay regulations affect the labor market is a controversial yet relatively under- studied topic. In this paper, I study the effect of the revision to statutory overtime pay in 2004 on worker’s income and hours of work. Using monthly panel data on workers’ working hours and income that covers the period of rule change, I find evidence that for workers who gained statutory overtime pay coverage under the new rule, hours and income increased. I also find spillover effects on overtime pay premium and overtime schedule for workers who are not directly affected by the rule change. My results suggest that the standard competitive model does not capture well the labor market for overtime work, and government regulations could reduce labor market frictions.
Chapter 3 studies debt covenant violations and their effects on corporate innovation. Exploiting the state of debt contract covenant violation and the institutional feature that creditors obtain increased control right of the firm, the paper examines the effect of increased creditor governance well before the state of bankruptcy on corporate innovation. Consistent with the view that increased creditor monitoring has disciplining effect on the managers, I find no significant change in the R&D spending, significant but model decrease in the total patent counts two years forward as well as significant and large positive impact on the citation counts of the patents. The results demonstrate that increased creditor governance is overall beneficial to firm innovation.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
MacLeod, W. Bentley
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
January 19, 2018