The Short- and Long-run Employment Impact of COVID-19 through the Effects of Real and Financial Shocks on New Firms
48 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2020
Date Written: December 15, 2020
We use the latest available empirical evidence on the impact of the COVID-19 shock on the EU economy to predict its effect on firm entry, and in particular on high-growth startups, and on the related short- and long-run impact on employment growth. We find that the COVID-19 shock is expected to reduce firm entry and that its overall impact is very sensitive to financial conditions. A relatively small increase in financial frictions is likely to strongly reduce the entry of high-growth startups, with fewer jobs created in the short run but, more importantly, also slower employment growth in the long run. We then develop a model with heterogeneous startup types and simulate the effects of the COVID-19 shock on the entry and growth of a cohort of new firms to evaluate alternative policies. We find that a loan subsidy that reduces the excess cost of credit for new startups is the most efficient policy in promoting the entry of high-growth startups. The comparison of this subsidy with a wage subsidy that supports current employment shows that, for the same overall costs, the number of jobs created by the loan subsidy in the long term is significantly larger than that created by the wage subsidy in the short term. Our findings imply that, while policies aiming to stimulate current employment are important, in order to ensure also a faster recovery in the future they should be accompanied by measures directed at reducing the cost of credit for new businesses.
Keywords: recessions, financial crisis, entrepreneurship, firm dynamics, coronavirus, COVID-19
JEL Classification: E20, E32, D22, J23, M13
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