How Do Shareholders Respond to Downsizing? A Meta-Analysis
32 Pages Posted: 16 Feb 2007
Massive layoffs announcements often attract extensive media coverage. Beyond the newsworthiness of such events, is such a decision in any way correlated to the company's stock market performance? Do some firms resort to massive layoffs simply to please shareholders? In this paper, we offer a thorough review of the literature in an attempt to answer these questions. The core of the paper is a meta-analysis. We show that layoffs announcements have an overall negative effect on stock market prices, and this remains true whatever the country, the period of time or the type of firm considered. However, some factors may ease as well as worsen the stock market's reaction to such announcements. The reason for the layoff decision is among the most decisive factors and the market sanction will be more severe in the case of defensive layoffs (taken by firms facing difficulties) than for offensive layoffs (when they are part of a more general reorganization strategy).
Keywords: Massive layoffs, Downsizing, Corporate Social Responsibility, Socially Responsible Investing, Corporate Governance, Event studies
JEL Classification: G14, Q5
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
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By John Peters