The Impact Of Ownership Change On Employment, Wages, And Labor Productivity In U.S. Manufacturing 1977-87
This paper reports on the impact of ownership change on productivity, wages, and employment in U.S. food manufacturing for the period 1977-87. Our analysis is based on both firm and plant level data taken from the U. S. Census Bureau's Longitudinal Research Database (LRD). Three principal results emerge from the analysis. First, ownership change is positively associated with productivity and wage growth, although the effects are significantly smaller for large plants. Second, ownership change appears to be associated with increases, not decreases, in employment at operating plants. Third, plants changing ownership show a greater likelihood of survival than those that do not change owners. These findings run counter to the notion that mergers and acquisitions cut wages and reduce employment. Finally, neither of the first two results are observed when firm level data are used for the analysis. This suggests that firm level data hide important dynamic activities within the firm. Thus, plant level data are necessary for studying the structure and performance of firms over time.
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