Firm-level shocks and labor adjustments

Författare: Oskar Nordström Skans, Och Mikael Carlsson, Och Julián Messina, Och

Sammanfattning av

Working paper


We analyze how firms adjust their labor in response to idiosyncratic shifts in their production function and demand curves using a unique data-set of Swedish manufacturing firms. We show that permanent shocks to firm-level demand is a main driving force behind both job and worker reallocation. In contrast, shocks to physical productivity and temporary demand shocks have a very limited impact on firm-level employment despite being important determinants of other firm-level fundamentals. We also present evidence suggesting that the adjustment to permanent demand shocks is fairly unconstrained. Most notably, firms primarly downsize through increased separations of both short- and long-tenured workers even when they could have adjusted their employment through reduced hires.