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Workforce reduction and firm performance: a comparison between French publicly-listed and non-listed companies, 1994-2000

Author

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  • Bénédicte Reynaud

    (PJSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Arnaud Degorre

    (INSEE - Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques - INSEE)

Abstract

Using an exhaustive database with labour, accounting and financial market information on French firms (1994-2000), the authors analyse the causes and the consequences of a workforce reduction in 1996 - the year chosen as reference - on firms' performance in a long term perspective. One important contribution to the topic consists in comparing the estimates of publicly-listed and non-listed companies. As far as we know, the comparative method had not be used before. A logistic model shows that in both groups, headcount reduction occurs in less-productive and financially distressed firms, resorting to downsizing as a defensive response to an adverse economic shock. However, the former anticipates better than the latter the decision to eliminate jobs. An econometric model that captures the initial characteristics of the firms, suggests the major performance indicators are significantly improved only for non-listed companies. Yet, there is no net gain on the full period studied.

Suggested Citation

  • Bénédicte Reynaud & Arnaud Degorre, 2007. "Workforce reduction and firm performance: a comparison between French publicly-listed and non-listed companies, 1994-2000," PSE Working Papers halshs-00588011, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00588011
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00588011
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Baily, Martin Neil & Bartelsman, Eric J & Haltiwanger, John, 1996. "Downsizing and Productivity Growth: Myth or Reality?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 259-278, August.
    2. John M. Abowd & George T. Milkovich & John M. Hannon, 1990. "The Effects of Human Resource Management Decisions on Shareholder Value," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(3), pages 203-2-236-, April.
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