Employment behavior and the economic crisis: Evidence from winners and runners-up in procurement auctions
Michael Weichselbaumer and
Christine Zulehner ()
Journal of Public Economics, 2020, vol. 182, issue C
To estimate the differential effects of increased product demand on the demand for labor before and during the recent economic crisis, we use a combination of detailed employment data and the outcomes of public procurement auctions. We compare the employment reactions of the winner of an auction with the employment reactions of the second ranked firm (i.e., the runner-up firm). Assuming similar ex-ante winning probabilities for both firms, we view winning an auction as an exogenous shock to a firm's production and its demand for labor. Detailed daily employment data cover almost 600 construction firms and over 2500 auctions in Austria over the time period 2006 to 2009. Our main results show that the winning firm significantly increases labor demand in the weeks following an auction but only in the years before the recent economic crisis. It employs about 80 workers (around 3% of the workforce) more after the auction than the runner-up firm. Most of the adjustment takes place within one month after the demand shock. Winners predominantly fire fewer workers after winning than runner-up firms. In the crisis, however, firms do not employ more workers than their competitors after winning an auction. There are no effects on wages. We view labor hoarding and productivity improvements induced by the crisis as the most likely explanations for our findings. We also discuss implications for fiscal and stimulus policy in the crisis.
Keywords: Economic crisis; Labor hoarding; Labor demand; Public procurement auctions; Regression discontinuity design (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D44 J23 L74 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:182:y:2020:i:c:s0047272719301744
Access Statistics for this article
Journal of Public Economics is currently edited by R. Boadway and J. Poterba
More articles in Journal of Public Economics from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Nithya Sathishkumar ().