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Firms and workers: who fails in times of crisis?

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Abstract

Using a panel of linked employer-employee data from Portugal, we follow the performance of firms and workers during the first decade of 2000s in terms of the risk of firm shutdown and of chances of workers’ entering unemployment. This allows us to identify the characteristics of unsuccessful firms and workers over this period and, of most interest, whether these characteristics changed as a consequence of the global crisis. In addition, and different from previous works, we (i) assess whether there is a differential effect to crisis depending on firm size, and (ii) relate the workers’ risk of unemployment to the hazard of firm shutdown. In the analyses of hazard of shutdown and risk of unemployment most of the effects of observed covariates remained unchanged through the business cycle. There is a differential response to crisis depending on firm size. A small firm’s risk of shutdown is 9 times the risk of a large firm. However, the chances of becoming unemployed are less than twice larger for a worker in a small firm. This suggests that large firms may be less likely to shutdown, but they are not a shield from unemployment.

Suggested Citation

  • Priscila Ferreira & Mark Taylor, 2011. "Firms and workers: who fails in times of crisis?," NIMA Working Papers 44, Núcleo de Investigação em Microeconomia Aplicada (NIMA), Universidade do Minho.
  • Handle: RePEc:nim:nimawp:44/2011
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1984. "Matching, Turnover, and Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(1), pages 108-122, February.
    2. Abraham, Katharine G & Katz, Lawrence F, 1986. "Cyclical Unemployment: Sectoral Shifts or Aggregate Disturbances?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 507-522, June.
    3. Mata, Jose & Portugal, Pedro & Guimaraes, Paulo, 1995. "The survival of new plants: Start-up conditions and post-entry evolution," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 459-481, December.
    4. Lilien, David M, 1982. "Sectoral Shifts and Cyclical Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(4), pages 777-793, August.
    5. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-990, October.
    6. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Firm-specific Capital and Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1246-1260, December.
    7. Ferreira, Priscila, 2009. "The determinants of promotions and firm separations," ISER Working Paper Series 2009-11, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    firm survival; employment; crisis; LEED;

    JEL classification:

    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance

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