Employees’ Financial Wellness, Productivity, and Firms’ Myopic Behavior

Claudia Marangoni, Lars Helge Hass, Paul Hribar, Roberto Pinto

Research output: Working paperOther research output

Abstract

We study how rank and file employees' financial wellness affects employers' myopic accounting decisions. By using staggered increases in consumer bankruptcy exemptions across US states to capture increments in employees' financial wellness, we find that firms reduce their real activities management, have fewer misstatements, and decrease their loss avoidance behaviors in response to higher consumer bankruptcy protection. We identify two channels that might explain these findings. First, we show that more consumer bankruptcy protection reduces employees' absenteeism from the workplace, and second, we show that firm productivity improves when consumer bankruptcy protection increases. Thus, higher firm productivity facilitates firms' achievement of their earnings-based targets, reducing the need for myopic performance-enhancing behaviors. Our evidence suggests that improving employees' financial wellness provides benefits to firms through higher productivity and fewer myopic decisions.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusIn preparation - 2021

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