DP13198 | Teams and Bankruptcy

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We study the impact of corporate bankruptcies on teams and inventor productivity in the United States. We show that bankruptcy reduces team stability. After a bankruptcy, team inventors produce fewer and less impactful patents, and they are more likely to cease patenting. This points to the loss of team-specific human capital as a cost of resource reallocation through bankruptcy. Our findings also suggest that the labor market values teams and their stability. Past collaboration increases the probability of inventors jointly moving to a new firm after bankruptcy, and the productivity of inventors that relocate together with their team increases.