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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Private equity takeovers result in significant job losses, according to a landmark new study by Josh Lerner of Harvard Business School and Steve Davis of the University of Chicago.

Why it matters: Private equity regularly defends its employment record by citing a 2011 study by the same two academics.

By the numbers: The new report finds average job losses of 4.4% in the two years after a company is bought by private equity, relative to control companies. This is up from less than 1% in the earlier study. It also finds average per worker wage decreases of 1.7%. It also finds significant differences based on the type of buyout:

  • Employment falls 13% in buyouts of publicly traded companies, relative to controls.
  • Employment falls 16% in divisional carveouts.
  • Employment rises 13% in buyouts of privately held companies (non PE-backed).
  • Employment rises 10% in buyouts of PE-backed companies.

What the authors are saying: "We find that the real side effects of buyouts on target firms and their workers vary greatly by deal type and market conditions. ... This conclusion cast doubts on the efficacy of 'one-size-fits-all' policy prescriptions for private equity."

The report's big silver lining for private equity is around productivity, which is found to rise an average of 8%, compared to controls. This should help the industry's argument that it's about much more than financial engineering.

Methodology: Lerner and Davis constructed a data set based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s Longitudinal Business Database, which is derived from IRS records and for which they needed to receive special access. They then used Capital IQ and other databases to match up the LBD employment records with nearly 10,000 deals from between 1980 and 2013 (earlier report was for 1980–2005).

Go deeper: Funding for China's private equity market falls by a third

Go deeper

2 mins ago - Health

The drugs pushing prescription prices down for Medicare patients

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Although net prices of brand-name drugs have increased significantly over the last decade, the savings produced by generics have actually driven average prescription prices down in Medicare's pharmacy benefit and Medicaid, according to a new analysis by the Congressional Budget Office.

Why it matters: The analysis reiterates that the generic market is largely working as intended.

2 hours ago - Sports

Robot umpires inch closer to calling MLB games

The Automated Ball-Strike system (ABS), the tech powering what's colloquially known as robo-umps, is inching ever closer to the big leagues.

Driving the news: The independent Atlantic League — which has partnered with MLB since 2019 — last week announced it was doing away with robo-umps after testing them for the past season-and-a-half.

FBI conducts "court-authorized" search of Rep. Henry Cuellar's home

Rep. Henry Cuellar. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

The FBI said it conducted a "court-authorized" search on Wednesday in the area of the Texas home of Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas).

State of play: "The FBI was present in the vicinity of Windridge Drive and Estate Drive in Laredo conducting court-authorized law enforcement activity," an FBI spokesperson told Axios, adding that they "cannot provide further comment on an ongoing investigation."