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Worker-plant matching and ownership change

Worker-plant matching and ownership change

Ragnhild Balsvik and Stefanie Haller

Is ownership change associated with plant acquisitions an opportunity for new
owners to make systematic changes to the workforce of the acquired plant? This
paper documents changes to the workforce along observable and unobservable
dimensions of worker quality around ownership change using matched employer-
employee data. The share of workers separating from plants is above average
around domestic acquisitions. This is associated with a decline in unobserved worker
quality in the plant. Foreign acquisitions are not associated with above average
worker turnover, instead new foreign owners share rents with the high skilled
workers that are already in the plant before the acquisition.
Published Scandinavian Journal of Economics122(4):1286-1314 in 2020.

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