November 28, 2021


Only The Finest Women

Covid-19 support disrupted creative destruction in the Netherlands

Covid-19 guidance distorted the approach of resourceful destruction in the Netherlands

As in most other nations around the world, the govt in the Netherlands has executed generous aid actions for companies throughout the Covid-19 disaster, aiming to stop pointless bankruptcies and defend careers. The intensive guidance packages operate the danger of harming upcoming productivity development thanks to minimized imaginative destruction, i.e. the cleaning of the least effective companies in the economic climate in the aggressive process. This chance is positively linked to the generosity of the help and the size of the support interval.

Proof for France information creative destruction has not been distorted throughout 2020 (Cros et al. 2021) and that guidance has been evenly distributed across companies of diverse productivities (Bénassy-Quéré et al. 2021). Bighelli et al. (2021) show assistance has impacted productivity positively by flowing disproportionally to high efficiency companies in numerous other EU international locations, mirroring the French benefits.

In contrast, when successful at preserving firms afloat, governing administration support in the Netherlands disrupted resourceful destruction. Like in lots of other nations around the world, the selection of bankruptcies was historically minimal in 2020. We come across the exit charge was substantially lower among supported corporations than for all those that ended up not supported. At the exact time, very low efficiency companies have obtained help far more often and much more generously (relative to their dimensions). Consequently, we observe that the exit level declined the most for corporations with the cheapest productivity.

We emphasis on the two premier (by price) guidance steps. This first, wage charge subsidies (NOW) rounds 1, 2, and 3, was available to all corporations with staff that anticipated Covid-19-linked profits losses of at minimum 20{3a94529b2b68d99beac25dca5c1678936e723415472492fb18744b4f77d809a2}. The next, tax deferral was open to all companies with quite number of stipulations and allowed them to postpone most of their tax payments. Acquire-up for corporations with staff was roughly 27{3a94529b2b68d99beac25dca5c1678936e723415472492fb18744b4f77d809a2} for NOW and 55{3a94529b2b68d99beac25dca5c1678936e723415472492fb18744b4f77d809a2} for tax deferral (CBS 2021). Some of the NOW advancements (if realised revenues are greater than anticipated) and all of the tax deferrals will have to be compensated again in the long term. We use information from balance sheets of all non-fiscal organizations in 2019 and backlink these to their use of assist measures in 2020.1

Firm dynamics in 2020 

Dutch small business dynamics in 2020 stand in stark distinction to the 2008-2009 economic downturn, when dynamics reacted strongly to the economic turmoil (see Figure 1). Entries and exits in 2020 transformed small when compared to 2019, particularly for more substantial corporations. Also, Figure 2 displays the variety of bankruptcies (subset of exits) reduced strongly throughout 2020 (Overvest and Fareed 2021).2

Figure 1 Firm dynamics relatively steady in 2020

Determine 2 The number of bankruptcies declined strongly


Moreover, the share of exits is substantially reduced for supported corporations than for unsupported corporations. Figure 3 exhibits, for each market, the share of exits among the unsupported (horizontal axis) and supported corporations (vertical axis). Pretty much all points are perfectly beneath the 45-diploma line, indicating the exit fee of supported corporations is considerably lower than that of unsupported companies.

Figure 3 Supported firms exit significantly less than unsupported firms

The exit charge among unsupported firms was best in industries toughest hit by the lockdown, identified in the direction of the much correct-hand side of Figure 3. These industries contain sports and recreation, hospitality, and casinos. In these industries the exit charge amid unsupported corporations was more than 15{3a94529b2b68d99beac25dca5c1678936e723415472492fb18744b4f77d809a2} for supported companies, it was a lot less than 5{3a94529b2b68d99beac25dca5c1678936e723415472492fb18744b4f77d809a2}.

Dynamics and productiveness

Replacing minimal-productiveness corporations with new, extremely effective firms is an important driver of efficiency expansion and the system at the rear of resourceful destruction (Freeman et al. 2021). Table 1 demonstrates the exit fee per decile of the distribution of labour productiveness, which is calculated as benefit extra for every hour worked. In accordance with resourceful destruction, the percentage of exits in the lowest productivity decile in 2018 and 2019 was significantly bigger (at about 10{3a94529b2b68d99beac25dca5c1678936e723415472492fb18744b4f77d809a2}) than for the relaxation of the distribution (4-5{3a94529b2b68d99beac25dca5c1678936e723415472492fb18744b4f77d809a2}). 

In 2020, the share of exits was decrease for all teams. Even so, it fell most for the most affordable productivity companies: by eight percentage points when compared to the two to four percentage details for the other teams. This implies that the inventive destruction dynamic was disrupted in 2020. This getting holds not just on mixture but also within industries.

Table 1 Proportion of exits for each 12 months for each productiveness decile, all non-financial corporations

Supply: Individual calculations dependent on CBS microdata.

Aid and labour productivity

We zoom in on two factors utilizing a panel regression: very first, we relate the productivity distribution to the share of supported companies 2nd, we relate it to the guidance-amounts scaled by earnings in 2019. The two elements end result from interactions with 10 and five group dummies, which address the productivity distribution. Fastened effects are included to control for sector dissimilarities. This signifies that the benefits are not driven by market-particular variations in aid consider-up.

Figure 4 Low productive firms received help far more usually

Determine 5 Low effective companies acquired a lot more help


For the two assistance actions, Figure 4 shows firms with the least expensive productivity acquired aid most normally, with the share of companies obtaining guidance speedily dropping for bigger productiveness deciles (each horizontal phase presents 10{3a94529b2b68d99beac25dca5c1678936e723415472492fb18744b4f77d809a2} of all companies). Equally, Figure 5 shows lower-efficiency firms obtained the greatest sum of assistance relative to their earnings in 2019. This is offered for 5 teams (quintiles) rather of deciles, as it is restricted to supported firms only. 

Remember the sample we see in Desk 1: a noteworthy reduce exit charge in 2020, notably for the minimum productive companies. This suits with the observation that firms in small-productivity teams gained assist more often and been given more assist. Combining these conclusions implies that minimal-efficiency corporations have been kept alive disproportionately by governing administration assistance.


The primary goal of the assist coverage has been obtained: corporations, and with them jobs, have been preserved as a result of the Covid-19 disaster. The government assist steps experienced to be swift and basic, contain several disorders, and have small implementation expenditures. At the similar time, we come across that the assistance ended up disproportionally with a lot less-successful companies. As a result, these firms survived longer than may possibly have been anticipated based mostly on pre-2020 styles of exits.

This disruption of the dynamics did not take place in other nations around the world (Bighelli et al. 2021, Cros et al. 2021). This raises the problem of why the Dutch government’s aid through Covid-19 appears to have impacted agency dynamics far more adversely than elsewhere. Maybe the guidance measures were being much more broadly and easily obtainable. Qualification for NOW help was effortless, commencing at a low expected profits-loss reduce-off, and lots of recipients have been overly pessimistic about their drop in revenues and received as well substantially in innovations (Schellekens et al. 2021), whilst tax deferral had no slice-off at all. Of study course, the ubiquity of Dutch aid measures could possibly have minimal other adverse Covid-19-associated effects, these as career losses.

Lastly, the effects reflect the scenario in 2020. Present data do not allow us to say how the dynamics will be afflicted by the phasing out of guidance measures, which commenced in late 2021. It is achievable that some companies have been propped up by assistance and will fall short once it stops. In addition, firms will have to pay out back some or all of the aid received. This may possibly direct to a more powerful course of action of inventive destruction in the in the vicinity of long run. The pace of the phasing out section will play an vital job in this growth (Overvest and Smid 2021).


Barnes, M, L Bauer, and W Edelberg (2021), “11 facts on the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic”, The Hamilton Task, Brookings. 

Bénassy-Quéré, A, B Hadjibeyli, and G Roulleau (2021), “French corporations by way of the COVID storm: Proof from firm-stage details”,, 27 April.

Bighelli, T, T Lalinsky, and F di Mauro (2021), “Covid-19 government assistance could have not been as unproductively dispersed as feared”, VoxEU, 19 August.

CBS (2021), “Gebruik van steunmaatregelen corona per 31 december”, Figures Netherlands.

Cros, M, A Epaulard, and P Martin (2021), “Will Schumpeter capture Covid-19?”, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 15834.

Freeman, D, L Bettendorf, G H van Heuvelen, and G Meijerink (2021), “The contribution of organization dynamics to productiveness advancement in the Netherlands”, CPB discussion paper.

Overvest, B and F Fareed (2021), “Business dynamics all through the COVID pandemic”, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Investigation.

Overvest, B and B Smid (2021), “Balansherstel bedrijven na corona”, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Investigation.

Schellekens, M, A L Cnossen, and R ’t Jong (2021), “Terugvordering coronasteun wordt miljardenoperatie”, ESB. 


1 The details on help measures relate to the condition of affairs up to and such as 31 December 2020. The quantities we present as a result consist of improvements or payment deferrals and not necessarily definitive payments.

2 Evidence for other nations indicates comparable reductions in, especially, exits (Barnes et al. 2021).