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European firm adjustment during times of economic crisis

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  • Silvia Fabiani

    ()

  • Ana Lamo

    ()

  • Julián Messina

    ()

  • Tairi Rõõm

    ()

Abstract

This paper exploits a unique cross-country, firm-level survey to study the responses of European firms to the sharp demand and credit contraction triggered by the global Great Recession of 2009. The analysis reveals that cost reduction—particularly labour cost reduction through the adjustment of quantities rather than prices—was the prevailing strategy that firms had adopted by summer 2009. Remarkably, not even during the worst postwar recession did employers cut base wages to reduce costs. Different combinations of adjustment strategies are apparent, and the particular choices of labour costs adjustments depend substantially on countries’ institutional settings. JEL codes: J30, J32, J33, J51 Copyright Fabiani et al. 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Silvia Fabiani & Ana Lamo & Julián Messina & Tairi Rõõm, 2015. "European firm adjustment during times of economic crisis," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-28, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:izalpo:v:4:y:2015:i:1:p:1-28:10.1186/s40173-015-0048-3
    DOI: 10.1186/s40173-015-0048-3
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Cornille, David & Rycx, Francois & Tojerow, Ilan, 2018. "Heterogeneous Effects of Credit Constraints on SMEs' Employment: Evidence from the Great Recession," IZA Discussion Papers 11257, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Izquierdo, Mario & Jimeno, Juan & Kosma, Theodora & Lamo, Ana & Millard, Stephen & Room, Tairi & Viviano, Eliana, 2017. "Labour market adjustment in Europe during the crisis: microeconomic evidence from the Wage Dynamics Network survey," Bank of England working papers 661, Bank of England.
    3. Jean-Charles Bricongne & Aurora Mordonu, 2017. "Interlinkages Between Household and Corporate Debt in Advanced Economies," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 28(5), pages 1029-1055, November.
    4. Petra Marotzke & Robert Anderton & Ana Bairrao & Clémence Berson & Peter Tóth, 2016. "Wage adjustment and employment in Europe," Discussion Papers 2016-19, University of Nottingham, GEP.
    5. Ronchi, Maddalena & di Mauro, Filippo, 2017. "Wage bargaining regimes and firms' adjustments to the Great Recession," Working Paper Series 2051, European Central Bank.
    6. Theodora Kosma & Evangelia Papapetrou & Georgia Pavlou & Christina Tsochatzi & Pinelopi Zioutou, 2017. "Labour market adjustments and reforms in Greece during the crisis: microeconomic evidence from the third wave of the wage dynamics," Working Papers 227, Bank of Greece.
    7. Rannenberg, Ansgar & Schoder, Christian & Strasky, Jan, 2015. "The macroeconomic effects of the Euro Area's fiscal consolidation 2011-2013: A Simulation-based approach," Research Technical Papers 03/RT/15, Central Bank of Ireland.
    8. Jan Babecky & Kamil Galuscak & Diana Zigraiova, 2015. "Labour Market Adjustment since the Global Financial Crisis: Evidence from a Survey of Czech Firms," Research and Policy Notes 2015/01, Czech National Bank, Research Department.
    9. Andrea Szalavetz, 2016. "Post‐crisis developments in global value chains - example of foreign investors’ Hungarian subsidiaries," IWE Working Papers 219, Institute for World Economics - Centre for Economic and Regional Studies- Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
    10. Ansgar Rannenberg & Christian Schoder & Jan Strásky, 2015. "The macroeconomic effects of the Euro Area?s fiscal consolidation 2011-2013," IMK Working Paper 156-2015, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    11. Fabio Berton & Sauro Mocetti & Andrea F. Presbitero & Matteo Richiardi, 2017. "Banks, Firms, and Jobs," Mo.Fi.R. Working Papers 136, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences.
    12. Lydon, Reamonn & Lozej, Matija, 2016. "Flexibility of new hires' earnings in Ireland," Research Technical Papers 06/RT/16, Central Bank of Ireland.
    13. Jan Babecký, Clémence Berson, Ludmila Fadejeva, Ana Lamo, Petra Marotzke, Fernando Martins, Pawel Strzelecki, 2018. "Non-base wage components as a source of wage adaptability to shocks: Evidence from European firms, 2010–2013," Working papers 681, Banque de France.
    14. Jan Bruha & Jiri Polansky & Jaromir Tonner & Stanislav Tvrz & Osvald Vasicek & Jan Babecky & Kamil Galuscak & Lubomir Lizal & Diana Zigraiova, 2016. "Topics in Labour Markets," Occasional Publications - Edited Volumes, Czech National Bank, Research Department, edition 1, volume 14, number rb14/1 edited by Jan Babecky.
    15. David Cornille & François Rycx & Ilan Tojerow, 2017. "The employment consequences of SMEs’ credit constraints in the wake of the great recession," Working Paper Research 333, National Bank of Belgium.
    16. Branten, Eva & Lamo, Ana & Rõõm, Tairi, 2018. "Nominal wage rigidity in the EU countries before and after the Great Recession: evidence from the WDN surveys," Working Paper Series 2159, European Central Bank.
    17. Savšek, Simon, 2018. "What are the main obstacles to hiring after recessions in Europe?," Working Paper Series 2153, European Central Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labour costs; Margins; Demand and credit shocks; Employment; Firm survey; Wage cuts; European Union;

    JEL classification:

    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects

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