Finance Papers


Mete Kilic

Document Type

Working Paper

Date of this Version



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.



Date Posted: 27 November 2017