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Not in my Community: Social Pressure and the Geography of Dismissals

  • Brunello, Giorgio
  • Bassanini, Andrea
  • Caroli, Eve

There is growing evidence that social pressure shapes firms' behavior. Given how sensitive communities are to downsizing, this suggests that firms are likely to be under strong social pressure when considering reducing employment. Using French linked employer-employee data, we show that social pressure induces firms to refrain from dismissing at short distance from their headquarters. More specifically, we find that, within firms, secondary establishments located further away from headquarters have higher dismissal rates than those located closer, taking into account the possible endogeneity of plant location. We also find that the positive effect of distance on dismissals increases with the visibility of the firm in the local community of its headquarters. This effect is also stronger the greater the degree of selfishness of the community in which the headquarters are located. This suggests that local social pressure at headquarters is a key determinant of the positive relationship between distance to headquarters and dismissals. We show that our results cannot be entirely accounted for by alternative explanations of the distance-dismissal relationship that are put forward in the literature.

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Paper provided by Paris Dauphine University in its series Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine with number 123456789/13579.

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Date of creation: Jun 2014
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Publication status: Published in LEda Working Papers, 2014
Handle: RePEc:dau:papers:123456789/13579
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