Covid-19 pandemic, firms’ responses, and unemployment in the ASEAN-5

Sulistiyo K. Ardiyono

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Numerous studies have explored the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on firms’ financial performance, but the link between such performance and employment has rarely been estimated rigorously. Using the ASEAN-5 firms’ data from Q1-2018 to Q3- 2021, this study shows how the pandemic affects firms’ revenue, cost, profitability, and employment heterogeneously across countries. It is argued that while revenue losses are the main challenge, widespread and prolonged restrictions in some countries have created extra complications in idle inventories and labour. In response to the revenue shocks, firms reduce their employment with an elasticity of around 0.10, indicating that a 10 per cent revenue decline is associated with a 1 per cent headcount reduction in the short run. A further examination using event analyses reveals that the path of labour adjustment is diverse across countries and industries, reflecting the degree of pandemic severity and countries’ structural issues
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)337-372
    JournalEconomic Analysis and Policy
    Publication statusPublished - 2022


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