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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. John T. Addison & Paulino Teixeira, 2003. "The Economics of Employment Protection," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 24(1), pages 85-129, January.
  2. Pieter A. Gautier & Coen N. Teulings, 2006. "How Large are Search Frictions?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(6), pages 1193-1225, December.
  3. Bloom, Nicholas & Sadun, Raffaella & Van Reenen, John, 2007. "Americans Do I.T. Better: US Multinationals and the Productivity Miracle," CEPR Discussion Papers 6291, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2008. "Is the 2007 U.S. Sub-Prime Financial Crisis So Different? An International Historical Comparison," NBER Working Papers 13761, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. Rasmus Lentz & Dale T. Mortensen, 2005. "An Empirical Model of Growth Through Product Innovation," CAM Working Papers 2005-13, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
  8. Postel-Vinay, Fabien & Turon, Hélène, 2011. "Severance Packages," IZA Discussion Papers 6023, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. 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.
  10. 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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  12. Marcus Hagedorn & Iourii Manovskii, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies Revisited," 2005 Meeting Papers 460, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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).
  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. 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.
  18. Fernando Alvarez & Marcelo Veracierto, 1999. "Labor market policies in an equilibrium search model," Working Paper Series WP-99-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Chad Syverson, 2011. "What Determines Productivity?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(2), pages 326-65, June.
  2. Eric J. Bartelsman & John C. Haltiwanger & Stefano Scarpetta, 2009. "Cross-Country Differences in Productivity: The Role of Allocation and Selection," NBER Working Papers 15490, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Hyytinen, Ari & Maliranta, Mika, 2011. "Firm Lifecycles and External Restructuring," Discussion Papers 1253, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  6. Bassanini, Andrea & Garnero, Andrea, 2013. "Dismissal protection and worker flows in OECD countries: Evidence from cross-country/cross-industry data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 25-41.
  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.

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