Sandro Brusco

Bankruptcy, Takeovers, and Wage Contracts

Takeovers give raiders the opportunity of breaking implicit contracts inside the firm. If implicit contracts are adopted by workers and management to reach more efficient outcomes, then the possibility of takeovers may cause a welfare loss. We show that, under some conditions, this argument can go through even if the firm and the workers can write explicit and complete contracts. The crucial assumption is that the profitability of the firm is linked to its financial situation, in the sense that a firm which has a high probability of bankruptcy will face fewer opportunities than a financially solid firm. In this framework, the possibility of takeovers imposes constraints on the set of feasible employment contracts, leading to inefficient outcomes.