Finance Papers

Author(s)

Mete Kilic

Document Type

Working Paper

Date of this Version

1-21-2017

Abstract

This paper documents that U.S. industries that shift their skilled workforce toward young employees exhibit higher expected equity returns. The young-minus-old (YMO) hiring return spread comoves negatively with value-minus-growth while being significantly positive on average. Exposure to the YMO spread accounts for a significant portion of annual momentum profits at the industry level. I find that an adjustment of the skilled workforce toward young employees is associated with greater productivity in new capital inputs of an industry. This motivates a risk-based explanation for the YMO spread, and its interaction with value and momentum. A model of investment and hiring where young and experienced employees are equipped with differential roles in production and investment can account for the empirical findings.

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Date Posted: 27 November 2017