Volatile Multinationals? Evidence from the Labor Demand of German Firms

Does more FDI make the world a riskier place for workers? We analyze whether an increase in multinational firms' activities is associated with an increase in firm-level employment volatility. We use a firm-level dataset for Germany which allows us to distinguish between purely domestic firms, exporters, domestic multinationals and foreign multinationals. Employment in multinationals could be more volatile than employment in domestic firms if multinationals were facing more volatile demand or if they react more to aggregate developments. We therefore decompose the labor demand of firms into their reaction and their exposure to aggregate developments. We find no above-average wage and output elasticities for multinational firms.

15. April 2010

Authors Claudia M. Buch A. Lipponer

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