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Firm-level heterogeneity in the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

Author

Listed:
  • Alejandro Fernández-Cerezo

    (Banco de España)

  • Beatriz González

    (Banco de España)

  • Mario Izquierdo

    (Banco de España)

  • Enrique Moral-Benito

    (Banco de España)

Abstract

This paper explores the heterogeneity across firms within each sector and region in the impact of and response to the COVID-19 shock. It relies on a survey conducted by Banco de España to 4,004 companies in November 2020 matched to very rich balance-sheet information on firm characteristics. According to our results, the impact of the COVID-19 shock was larger in the case of small, young and less productive firms located in urban areas within each sector-region pair. Moreover, these firms resorted relatively more to public-guaranteed loans, tax deferrals, and furlough schemes (ERTEs). More indebted companies, which were not hit relatively harder by the shock, also perceived public-guaranteed loans as very useful. Firms consider that uncertainty represents a key hindrance to the recovery, but observable characteristics do not explain the variation in the perception of uncertainty once the impact of the shock is accounted for. Finally, we use the announcement of the Pfizer vaccine on November 9th 2020 as a natural experiment to provide evidence that the vaccine announcement increased significantly firms’ subjective recovery expectations.

Suggested Citation

  • Alejandro Fernández-Cerezo & Beatriz González & Mario Izquierdo & Enrique Moral-Benito, 2021. "Firm-level heterogeneity in the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic," Working Papers 2120, Banco de España.
  • Handle: RePEc:bde:wpaper:2120
    as

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    File URL: https://www.bde.es/f/webbde/SES/Secciones/Publicaciones/PublicacionesSeriadas/DocumentosTrabajo/21/Files/dt2120e.pdf
    File Function: First version, May 2021
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bighelli, Tommaso & Lalinsky, Tibor & Vanhala, Juuso, 2022. "Covid-19 pandemic, state aid and firm productivity," Research Discussion Papers 1/2022, Bank of Finland.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    COVID-19; firms; sales; employment; uncertainty;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • L20 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - General
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance

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