IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/7742.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Examining the Incidence of Downsizing and Its Effect on Establishment Performance

Author

Listed:
  • Peter Cappelli

Abstract

The interest in examining job security and job stability has been driven in part by the phenomenon of downsizing. The distinctiveness of downsizing, as opposed to more traditional layoffs, is that the job cuts do not necessarily appear to be driven by shortfalls in demand but instead appear to be driven by the search for operating efficiencies. Despite the interest in downsizing, there has been essentially no serious investigation into its causes. I distinguish downsizing from job cuts associated with shortfalls in demand and find that employment and management practices over which employers have control, such as severance pay and profit sharing, are important predictors of subsequent downsizing and more general job losses. Surprisingly, excess operating capacity is not necessarily related to more general job losses at the establishment level. I also examine the relationship between both job losses associated with shortfalls in demand and downsizing and subsequent financial performance. The results suggest, among other things, that downsizing reduces labor costs per employee but also sales per employee. Job cuts associated with excess capacity appear to be somewhat more successful at improving sales per employee than is downsizing.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Cappelli, 2000. "Examining the Incidence of Downsizing and Its Effect on Establishment Performance," NBER Working Papers 7742, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7742
    Note: LS
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w7742.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lisa M. Lynch & Sandra E. Black, 1995. "Beyond the Incidence of Training: Evidence from a National Employers Survey," NBER Working Papers 5231, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Dial, Jay & Murphy, Kevin J., 1995. "Incentives, downsizing, and value creation at General Dynamics," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 261-314, March.
    3. Jaeger, David A & Stevens, Ann Huff, 1999. "Is Job Stability in the United States Falling? Reconciling Trends in the Current Population Survey and Panel Study of Income Dynamics," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages 1-28, October.
    4. Edward P. Lazear, 1990. "Job Security Provisions and Employment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(3), pages 699-726.
    5. Alan Gustman & Olivia S. Mitchell & Thomas L. Steinmeier, "undated". "Retirement Measures in the Health and Retirement Survey," Pension Research Council Working Papers 94-2, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
    6. Blackwell, David W. & Marr, M. Wayne & Spivey, Michael F., 1990. "Plant-closing decisions and the market value of the firm," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 277-288, August.
    7. 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.
    8. Robert G. Valletta, 1996. "Has job security in the U.S. declined?," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue feb16.
    9. 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.
    10. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1992. "Gross Job Creation, Gross Job Destruction, and Employment Reallocation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(3), pages 819-863.
    11. Matsusaka, John G, 1993. "Target Profits and Managerial Discipline during the Conglomerate Merger Wave," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(2), pages 179-189, June.
    12. Rees, Albert, 1989. "The Economics of Trade Unions," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226707105.
    13. Hallock, Kevin F, 1998. "Layoffs, Top Executive Pay, and Firm Performance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 711-723, September.
    14. Allen, Steven G, 1986. "Union Work Rules and Efficiency in the Building Trades," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(2), pages 212-242, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Beckmann, Michael, 2000. "Unternehmenspolitik, Managerkontrolle und Personalabbau in Deutschland : theoretische Ansätze und empirische Analyse mit Daten des IAB-Betriebspanels (Corporate policy, manager control and staff reduc," Mitteilungen aus der Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 33(4), pages 594-608.
    2. Peter Cappelli & David Neumark, 2001. "External Job Churning and Internal Job Flexibility," NBER Working Papers 8111, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Bergemann, Annette & Mertens, Antje, 2004. "Job Stability Trends, Layoffs and Transitions to Unemployment - An Empirical Analysis for West Germany," CEPR Discussion Papers 4792, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Yılmaz Kılıçaslan & Erol Taymaz, 2008. "Labor market institutions and industrial performance: an evolutionary study," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 477-492, August.
    5. Mirko Cardinale & Mike Orszag, 2005. "Severance Pay and Corporate Finance: Empirical Evidence from a Panel of Austrian and Italian Firms," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 32(3), pages 309-343, September.
    6. Pierre, Gaelle & Scarpetta, Stefano, 2004. "Employment regulations through the eyes of employers - do they matter and how do firms respond to them?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3463, The World Bank.
    7. Vanessa V Tinsley, 2003. "Firms and Layoffs: The Impact of Unionization on Involuntary Job Loss," Working Papers 03-09, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    8. Byoung-Hoon Lee & Jung-Min Nam, 2013. "What drives Korean firms to downsize under the global financial crisis?," Asia Pacific Business Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(2), pages 171-185, April.
    9. David Neumark, 2003. "Age Discrimination Legislation in the United States," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 21(3), pages 297-317, July.
    10. Scarpetta, Stefano & Tressel, Thierry, 2004. "Boosting productivity via innovation and adoption of new technologies : any role for labor market institutions?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3273, The World Bank.
    11. Ekin Alakent & Seung-Hyun Lee, 2010. "Do Institutionalized Traditions Matter During Crisis? Employee Downsizing in Korean Manufacturing Organizations," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 509-532, May.
    12. Dong, Xiao-yuan & Xu, Lixin Colin, 2009. "Labor restructuring in China: Toward a functioning labor market," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 287-305, June.
    13. Nancy Bertaux & Hervé Queneau, 2002. "The social economics of job security," Forum for Social Economics, Springer;The Association for Social Economics, vol. 32(1), pages 1-19, September.
    14. Mora Espejo María Consuelo, 2014. "Declive organizativo, fracaso y reestructuración organizacional en empresas colombianas," Contaduría y Administración, Accounting and Management, vol. 59(3), pages 235-260, julio-sep.
    15. Gera, Surendra & Gu, Wulong, 2004. "The Effect of Organizational Innovation and Information Technology on Firm Performance," The Canadian Economy in Transition 2004007e, Statistics Canada, Economic Analysis Division.
    16. Andrea Bassanini & Luca Nunziata & Danielle Venn, 2009. "Job protection legislation and productivity growth in OECD countries," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 24, pages 349-402, April.
    17. Hyo-Sook Kim, 2009. "Examining the Role of Informational Justice in the Wake of Downsizing from an Organizational Relationship Management Perspective," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 88(2), pages 297-312, August.
    18. Kevin F. Hallock, 2009. "Job Loss and the Fraying of the Implicit Employment Contract," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(4), pages 69-93, Fall.
    19. Fligstein, Neil & Shin, Taek-Jin, 2005. "Shareholder Value and Changes in American Industries, 1984-2000," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt82j7915n, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
    20. Fligstein, Neil & Shin, Taek-Jin, 2007. "Shareholder Value and the Transformation of American Industries, 1984-2001," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt4r16k6j6, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
    21. Mamatzakis, Emmanuel & Tsionas, Mike G. & Kumbhakar, Subal C. & Koutsomanoli-Filippaki, Anastasia, 2015. "Does labour regulation affect technical and allocative efficiency? Evidence from the banking industry," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 61(S1), pages 84-98.
    22. repec:iab:iabmit:v:33:i:4:p:594-608 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. Alexander Popov & Peter Roosenboom, 2012. "Venture capital and patented innovation: evidence from Europe," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 27(71), pages 447-482, July.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7742. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.