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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
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    as
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    Cited by:

    1. Honda, Tomohito & Hosono, Kaoru & Miyakawa, Daisuke & Ono, Arito & Uesugi, Iichiro, 2023. "Determinants and effects of the use of COVID-19 business support programs in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 67(C).
    2. Ascari, Guido & Colciago, Andrea & Silvestrini, Riccardo, 2023. "Business dynamism, sectoral reallocation and productivity in a pandemic," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 156(C).
    3. Brotherhood, Luiz & Jerbashian, Vahagn, 2023. "Firm behavior during an epidemic," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 147(C).
    4. repec:zbw:bofrdp:2022_001 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Bighelli, Tommaso & Lalinsky, Tibor & Vanhala, Juuso, 2023. "Cross-country evidence on the allocation of COVID-19 government subsidies and consequences for productivity," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 68(C).
    6. TSURUTA Daisuke, 2023. "Credit Allocation and Public Credit Guarantee Schemes for Small Businesses: Evidence from Japan," Discussion papers 23083, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    7. Bighelli, Tommaso & Lalinsky, Tibor & Vanhala, Juuso, 2022. "Covid-19 pandemic, state aid and firm productivity," Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers 1/2022, Bank of Finland.
    8. Bighelli, Tommaso & Lalinsky, Tibor & Vanhala, Juuso, 2022. "Covid-19 pandemic, state aid and firm productivity," Bank of Finland 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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