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Employment Protection, Technology Choice, and Worker Allocation

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  • Eric J. Bartelsman
  • Pieter A. Gautier
  • Joris de Wind

Abstract

We show empirically that high-risk innovative sectors are relatively small in countries with strict employment protection legislation (EPL). To understand the mechanism, we develop a two-sector matching model where firms endogenously choose between safe and risky technology. Simulations with our calibrated model are consistent with the data: Strict EPL discourages choosing the emerging risky technology because it is more costly to shed workers upon receiving a bad productivity draw. This mechanism helps explain the lowdown in productivity in the EU relative to the US since the mid-1990s that often is associated with lagging adoption of information technology in the EU.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department in its series DNB Working Papers with number 295.

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Date of creation: May 2011
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Handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:295

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Keywords: employment protection legislation; exit costs; information and communication technologies; heterogeneous productivity; risky technology; innovation; sectoral allocation;

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References

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  1. Rasmus Lentz & Dale T. Mortensen, 2005. "An Empirical Model of Growth Through Product Innovation," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2005-004, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  2. Gautier, Pieter A & Teulings, Coen N, 2003. "How Large are Search Frictions?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3861, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "Is the 2007 U.S. Sub-Prime Financial Crisis So Different? An International Historical Comparison," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 56(3), pages 291-299, September.
  4. Markus Poschke, 2007. "Employment protection, firm selection, and growth," 2007 Meeting Papers 389, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Bassanini, Andrea & Nunziata, Luca & Venn, Danielle, 2008. "Job Protection Legislation and Productivity Growth in OECD Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 3555, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Roberto M. Samaniego, 2006. "Employment Protection and High-Tech Aversion," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(2), pages 224-241, April.
  7. Postel-Vinay, Fabien & Turon, Hélène, 2011. "Severance Packages," IZA Discussion Papers 6023, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Addison, John T. & Teixeira, Paulino, 2001. "The Economics of Employment Protection," IZA Discussion Papers 381, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Nicholas Bloom & Raffaella Sadun & John Van Reenen, 2012. "Americans Do IT Better: US Multinationals and the Productivity Miracle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 167-201, February.
  10. Giuseppe Nicoletti & Stefano Scarpetta & Olivier Boylaud, 2000. "Summary Indicators of Product Market Regulation with an Extension to Employment Protection Legislation," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 226, OECD Publishing.
  11. Fernando Alvarez & Marcelo Veracierto, 1999. "Labor market policies in an equilibrium search model," Working Paper Series WP-99-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  12. Haskel, Jonathan & Kersley, Barbara & Martin, Christopher, 1997. "Labour Market Flexibility and Employment Adjustment: Micro Evidence from UK Establishments," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(3), pages 362-79, July.
  13. Marcus Hagedorn & Iourii Manovskii, 2007. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies Revisited," IEW - Working Papers 351, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  14. Mary O'Mahony & Marcel P. Timmer, 2009. "Output, Input and Productivity Measures at the Industry Level: The EU KLEMS Database," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(538), pages F374-F403, 06.
  15. Bart van Ark & Mary O'Mahoney & Marcel P. Timmer, 2008. "The Productivity Gap between Europe and the United States: Trends and Causes," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(1), pages 25-44, Winter.
  16. Christopher Martin, . "Evidence from UK Establishments," Economics and Finance Discussion Papers 98-07, Economics and Finance Section, School of Social Sciences, Brunel University.
  17. Pedro Portugal & Olivier Blanchard, 2001. "What Hides Behind an Unemployment Rate: Comparing Portuguese and U.S. Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 187-207, March.
  18. Bentolila, Samuel & Bertola, Giuseppe, 1990. "Firing Costs and Labour Demand: How Bad Is Eurosclerosis?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 381-402, July.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jo Ritzen & Klaus Zimmermann, 2014. "A vibrant European labor market with full employment," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 1-24, December.
  2. Carlos Miguel Silva & Ana Paula Ribeiro, 2011. "The Impacts of Structural Changes in the Labor Market: a Comparative Statics Analysis Using Heterogeneous-agent Framework," CEF.UP Working Papers 1104, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
  3. Bassanini, Andrea & Garnero, Andrea, 2012. "Dismissal Protection and Worker Flows in OECD Countries: Evidence from Cross-Country/Cross-Industry Data," IZA Discussion Papers 6535, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Hyytinen, Ari & Maliranta, Mika, 2011. "Firm Lifecycles and External Restructuring," Discussion Papers 1253, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  5. Chad Syverson, 2010. "What Determines Productivity?," NBER Working Papers 15712, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Bartelsman, Eric & Haltiwanger, John C. & Scarpetta, Stefano, 2009. "Cross-Country Differences in Productivity: The Role of Allocation and Selection," IZA Discussion Papers 4578, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Olivér KOVÁCS, 2013. "Black swans or creeping normalcy? – An attempt to a holistic crisis analysis," Eastern Journal of European Studies, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 4, pages 127-143, June.
  8. Eric J. Bartelsman, 2010. "Searching for the sources of productivity from macro to micro and back," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(6), pages 1891-1917, December.

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