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Private Equity, Jobs, and Productivity

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  • Steven J. Davis
  • John C. Haltiwanger
  • Kyle Handley
  • Ron S. Jarmin
  • Josh Lerner
  • Javier Miranda

Abstract

Private equity critics claim that leveraged buyouts bring huge job losses and few gains in operating performance. To evaluate these claims, we construct and analyze a new dataset that covers U.S. buyouts from 1980 to 2005. We track 3,200 target firms and their 150,000 establishments before and after acquisition, comparing them to controls defined by industry, size, age, and prior growth. Relative to controls, employment at target establishments falls 3 percent over two years post buyout and 6 percent over five years. However, target firms also create more new jobs at new establishments, and they acquire and divest establishments more rapidly. Considering all adjustment margins, relative net job loss at target firms is a modest one percent of employment over two years post buyout. In contrast, the sum of gross job creation and destruction at target firms exceeds that of controls by 14 percent of employment over two years. Buyouts also bring TFP gains at target firms and reductions in earnings per worker. Productivity gains arise mainly from an accelerated exit of less productive establishments and greater entry of more productive ones – that is, from a directed reallocation of jobs within target firms.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19458.

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Date of creation: Sep 2013
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19458

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  1. Javier Miranda & Alfred Nucci & Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger & Ron S. Jarmin & C.J. Krizan & Kristin Sandusky, 2006. "Measuring the Dynamics of Young and Small Businesses: Integrating the Employer and Nonemployer Universes," Working Papers 06-04, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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  15. Steven Davis & John Haltiwanger & Ron Jarmin & Josh Lerner & Javier Miranda, 2008. "Private Equity and Employment," Working Papers 08-07r, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau, revised Oct 2011.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Shai Bernstein & Josh Lerner & Morten Sørensen & Per Strömberg, 2010. "Private Equity and Industry Performance," NBER Working Papers 15632, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Ferreira, Daniel & Manso, Gustavo & Silva, André C., 2010. "Incentives to Innovate and the Decision to Go Public or Private," CEPR Discussion Papers 7750, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Tykvová, Tereza & Borell, Mariela, 2011. "Do private equity owners increase risk of financial distress and bankruptcy?," ZEW Discussion Papers 11-076, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  4. Borell, Mariela & Heger, Diana, 2013. "Sources of value creation through private equity-backed mergers and acquisitions: The case of buy-and-build strategies," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-094, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  5. Norbäck, Pehr-Johan & Persson, Lars & Tag, Joacim, 2012. "Buying to Sell: Private Equity Buyouts and Industrial Restructuring," CEPR Discussion Papers 8992, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. TÃ¥g, Joacim, 2010. "The Real Effects of Private Equity Buyouts," Working Paper Series, Research Institute of Industrial Economics 851, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  7. Peter Klein & Donald Siegel & Nick Wilson & Mike Wright & Albert N. Link & Christopher J. Ruhm & Donald S. Siegel, 2014. "Private Equity and the Innovation Strategies of Entrepreneurial Firms: Empirical Evidence from the Small Business Innovation Research Program," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 35(2), pages 103-113, 03.

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