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Preserving job matches during the COVID-19 pandemic: firm-level evidence on the role of government aid

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  • Bennedsen, Morten
  • Larsen, Birthe
  • Schmutte, Ian
  • Scur, Daniela

Abstract

We analyze the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and government policies on firms’ aid takeup, layoff and furlough decisions. We collect new survey data for 10,642 small, medium and large Danish firms, and match to government records of all aid-supported furloughed workers during the pandemic as well as administrative accounting data. This is the first representative sample of firms reporting the pandemic’s impact on their revenue and labor choices, showing a steep decline in revenue and a strong reported effect of labor aid take-up on lower job separations. Relative to a normal year, 30 percent more firms have experienced revenue declines. Comparing firms’ actual layoff and furlough decisions to their reported counterfactual decisions in the absence of aid, we estimate 81,000 fewer workers were laid off and 285,000 workers were furloughed. Our results suggest the aid policy was effective in preserving job matches at the start of the pandemic.

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  • Bennedsen, Morten & Larsen, Birthe & Schmutte, Ian & Scur, Daniela, 2020. "Preserving job matches during the COVID-19 pandemic: firm-level evidence on the role of government aid," GLO Discussion Paper Series 588, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:588
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    RePEc Biblio mentions

    As found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
    1. > Economics of Welfare > Health Economics > Economics of Pandemics > Specific pandemics > Covid-19 > Economic policy > Business support

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    1. Huneeus, Federico & Kaboski, Joseph & Larrain, Mauricio & Schmukler, Sergio & Vera, Mario, 2022. "The Distribution of Crisis Credit: Effects on Firm Indebtedness and Aggregate Risk," CEPR Discussion Papers 17061, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Vanda Almeida & Salvador Barrios & Michael Christl & Silvia Poli & Alberto Tumino & Wouter Wielen, 2021. "The impact of COVID-19 on households´ income in the EU," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 19(3), pages 413-431, September.
    3. Steffen Juranek & Jörg Paetzold & Hannes Winner & Floris Zoutman, 2020. "Labor Market Effects of Covid-19 in Sweden and Its Neighbors: Evidence from Novel Administrative Data," CESifo Working Paper Series 8473, CESifo.
    4. Guerrero-Amezaga, Maria Elena & Humphries, John Eric & Neilson, Christopher A. & Shimberg, Naomi & Ulyssea, Gabriel, 2022. "Small firms and the pandemic: Evidence from Latin America," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 155(C).
    5. Betcherman,Gordon & Giannakopoulos,Nicholas & Laliotis,Ioannis & Pantelaiou,Ioanna & Testaverde,Mauro & Tzimas,Giannis, 2020. "Reacting Quickly and Protecting Jobs : The Short-Term Impacts of the COVID-19 Lockdown on the Greek Labor Market," Policy Research Working Paper Series 9356, The World Bank.
    6. Laszlo Torok, 2020. "The Link Between Car Sales and the Economic Crisis in the European Union at the Time of the Covid-19 Epidemic," International Journal of Economics & Business Administration (IJEBA), International Journal of Economics & Business Administration (IJEBA), vol. 0(4), pages 1033-1042.
    7. Alejandro Fernández-Cerezo & Beatriz González & Mario Izquierdo & Enrique Moral-Benito, 2021. "Firm-level heterogeneity in the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic," Working Papers 2120, Banco de España.
    8. Klyver, Kim & Nielsen, Suna Løwe, 2021. "Which crisis strategies are (expectedly) effective among SMEs during COVID-19?," Journal of Business Venturing Insights, Elsevier, vol. 16(C).
    9. Wei Cheng & Patrick Carlin & Joanna Carroll & Sumedha Gupta & Felipe Lozano Rojas & Laura Montenovo & Thuy D. Nguyen & Ian M. Schmutte & Olga Scrivner & Kosali I. Simon & Coady Wing & Bruce Weinberg, 2020. "Back to Business and (Re)employing Workers? Labor Market Activity During State COVID-19 Reopenings," NBER Working Papers 27419, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Astarita, Caterina & Alcidi, Cinzia, 2022. "Did the COVID-19 pandemic impact income distribution?," MPRA Paper 113851, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Annette Alstadsæter & Julie Brun Bjørkheim & Wojciech Kopczuk & Andreas Økland, 2020. "Norwegian and U.S. Policies Alleviate Business Vulnerability Due to the COVID-19 Shock Equally Well," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 73(3), pages 805-828, September.
    12. Juan Laborda & Pilar Rivera-Torres & Vicente Salas-Fumas & Cristina Suárez, 2021. "Is there life beyond the Spanish government’s aid to furloughed employees by COVID-19?," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 16(6), pages 1-21, June.
    13. Amore, Mario Daniele & Pelucco, Valerio & Quarato, Fabio, 2022. "Family ownership during the Covid-19 pandemic," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 135(C).
    14. Carbonero, Francesco & Scicchitano, Sergio, 2021. "Labour and technology at the time of Covid-19. Can artificial intelligence mitigate the need for proximity?," GLO Discussion Paper Series 765, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    15. Bighelli, Tommaso & Lalinsky, Tibor & Vanhala, Juuso, 2022. "Covid-19 pandemic, state aid and firm productivity," Research Discussion Papers 1/2022, Bank of Finland.
    16. Cyrille Lenoel & Garry Young, 2021. "Modelling the impact of Covid-19 on the UK economy: an application of a disaggregated New-Keynesian model," National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) Discussion Papers 531, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
    17. Steffen Juranek & Jörg Paetzold & Hannes Winner & Floris Zoutman, 2021. "Labor market effects of COVID‐19 in Sweden and its neighbors: Evidence from administrative data," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 74(4), pages 512-526, November.
    18. Luca Bonacini & Giovanni Gallo & Sergio Scicchitano, 2021. "Working from home and income inequality: risks of a ‘new normal’ with COVID-19," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(1), pages 303-360, January.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    COVID-19; aid packages; firm labor responses;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H12 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Crisis Management
    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • M54 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Management

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