Why do firms get merged or acquired? In the end, the hope is that it increases firm value, although the stock market response is often negative. It may also be for (anti-)competitive reasons, as firm try to buy the challengers. Or it may be to acquire a patent portfolio, technology, or access to a client list or new markets. I may forget some other good reasons.
Paige Ouimet and Rebecca Zarutskie show that mergers and acquisitions can also be the result of a drive to get access to the other firm's pool of workers. This is particularly true when the labor market is tight and the workers carry high human capital. Interestingly, wage tend to increase and turnover tends to decrease after such mergers. Thus not all employees should be afraid of M&As.