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Private Equity, Jobs, and Productivity

Listed author(s):
  • Steven J. Davis
  • John Haltiwanger
  • Kyle Handley
  • Ron Jarmin
  • Josh Lerner
  • Javier Miranda

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 US buyouts from 1980 to 2005. We track 3,200 target firms and their 150,000 establishments before and after acquisition, comparing to controls defined by industry, size, age, and prior growth. Buyouts lead to modest net job losses but large increases in gross job creation and destruction. Buyouts also bring TFP gains at target firms, mainly through accelerated exit of less productive establishments and greater entry of highly productive ones. (JEL D24, G24, G32, G34, J23, J63, L25)

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 104 (2014)
Issue (Month): 12 (December)
Pages: 3956-3990

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:104:y:2014:i:12:p:3956-90
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.104.12.3956
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  1. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 1999. "Is There a Discretion in Wage Setting? A Test Using Takeover Legislation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(3), pages 535-554, Autumn.
  2. Lucia Foster & Cheryl Grim & John Haltiwanger, 2016. "Reallocation in the Great Recession: Cleansing or Not?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(S1), pages 293-331.
  3. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger & Ron Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2007. "Volatility and Dispersion in Business Growth Rates: Publicly Traded versus Privately Held Firms," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2006, Volume 21, pages 107-180 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Ricardo J. Caballero, 2007. "Specificity and the Macroeconomics of Restructuring," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262033623, July.
  5. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1992. "Gross Job Creation, Gross Job Destruction, and Employment Reallocation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(3), pages 819-863.
  6. John Haltiwanger & Ron S. Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2010. "Who Creates Jobs? Small vs. Large vs. Young," Working Papers 10-17, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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  8. Lichtenberg, Frank R. & Siegel, Donald, 1990. "The effects of leveraged buyouts on productivity and related aspects of firm behavior," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 165-194, September.
  9. 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.
  10. Kevin Amess & Mike Wright, 2007. "The Wage and Employment Effects of Leveraged Buyouts in the UK," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(2), pages 179-195.
  11. Baker, George P. & Wruck, Karen H., 1989. "Organizational changes and value creation in leveraged buyouts : The case of the O.M. Scott & Sons Company," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 163-190, December.
  12. Dunne, Timothy & Roberts, Mark J & Samuelson, Larry, 1989. "Plant Turnover and Gross Employment Flows in the U.S. Manufacturing Sector," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(1), pages 48-71, January.
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  14. Richard Harris & Donald S. Siegel & Mike Wright, 2005. "Assessing the Impact of Management Buyouts on Economic Efficiency: Plant-Level Evidence from the United Kingdom," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(1), pages 148-153, February.
  15. Kaplan, Steven, 1989. "The effects of management buyouts on operating performance and value," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 217-254.
  16. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger & Ronald S. Jarmin & C.J. Krizan & Javier Miranda & Alfred Nucci & Kristin Sandusky, 2009. "Measuring the Dynamics of Young and Small Businesses: Integrating the Employer and Nonemployer Universes," NBER Chapters,in: Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data, pages 329-366 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Baker, George P, 1992. " Beatrice: A Study in the Creation and Destruction of Value," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(3), pages 1081-1119, July.
  18. Karen H. Wruck, 1991. "What Really Went Wrong At Revco?," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 4(2), pages 79-92.
  19. Richard E. Caves, 1998. "Industrial Organization and New Findings on the Turnover and Mobility of Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(4), pages 1947-1982, December.
  20. Muscarella, Chris J & Vetsuypens, Michael R, 1990. " Efficiency and Organizational Structure: A Study of Reverse LBOs," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(5), pages 1389-1413, December.
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