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Firms and workers: who fails in times of crisis?

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Abstract

Using a panel of linked employer-employee data from Portugal, we follow the performance of firms and workers during the first decade of 2000s in terms of the risk of firm shutdown and of chances of workers’ entering unemployment. This allows us to identify the characteristics of unsuccessful firms and workers over this period and, of most interest, whether these characteristics changed as a consequence of the global crisis. In addition, and different from previous works, we (i) assess whether there is a differential effect to crisis depending on firm size, and (ii) relate the workers’ risk of unemployment to the hazard of firm shutdown. In the analyses of hazard of shutdown and risk of unemployment most of the effects of observed covariates remained unchanged through the business cycle. There is a differential response to crisis depending on firm size. A small firm’s risk of shutdown is 9 times the risk of a large firm. However, the chances of becoming unemployed are less than twice larger for a worker in a small firm. This suggests that large firms may be less likely to shutdown, but they are not a shield from unemployment.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Núcleo de Investigação em Microeconomia Aplicada (NIMA), Universidade do Minho in its series NIMA Working Papers with number 44.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nim:nimawp:44/2011

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Keywords: firm survival; employment; crisis; LEED;

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  1. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1984. "Matching, Turnover, and Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(1), pages 108-22, February.
  2. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Firm-specific Capital and Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1246-60, December.
  3. Katharine G. Abraham & Lawrence F. Katz, 1987. "Cyclical Unemployment: Sectoral Shifts or Aggregate Disturbances?," NBER Working Papers 1410, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Mata, Jose & Portugal, Pedro & Guimaraes, Paulo, 1995. "The survival of new plants: Start-up conditions and post-entry evolution," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 459-481, December.
  5. repec:ese:iserwp:2009-11 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Lilien, David M, 1982. "Sectoral Shifts and Cyclical Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(4), pages 777-93, August.
  7. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-90, October.
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