- teams •
- Teamwork •
- Team-specific human capital •
- Bankruptcy •
- Labor productivity •
We study how the human capital embedded in teams is affected by, and reallocated through, corporate bankruptcies. After a bankruptcy, U.S. inventors produce fewer and less impactful patents. Moreover, teams become less stable. Consequently, compared to inventors that rely less on teamwork, the performance of team inventors deteriorates more.
These findings point to the loss of team-specific human capital as a cost of resource reallocation through bankruptcy. Acquisitions by industrial firms and joint mobility of inventors with past collaborations limit these losses, suggesting that the labor market and the market for corporate control help preserve team-specific human capital in bankruptcies.