Adjusting to Skill Shortages: Complexity and Consequences
AbstractSkill shortages are often portrayed as a major problem for the economies of many countries including the Australian economy. Yet, there is surprisingly little evidence about their prevalence, causes and consequences. This paper attempts to improve our understanding about these issues by using econometric methods to analyse the Business Longitudinal Database, an Australian panel data-set with information about skill shortages in small- and medium-sized businesses during 2004/05. We use this information to: (1) explore the incidence of skill shortages and the business attributes that are associated with them; (2) identify which businesses face more complex skill shortages, as measured by the number of different causes reported simultaneously; and, uniquely, (3) examine how this complexity affects businesses' responses to skill shortages and aspects of their subsequent performance. We show that complex skill shortages are more likely than simpler (single-cause) skill shortages to persist and to trigger defensive responses from businesses. We reject the conception of skill shortages as a homogenous phenomenon, and demonstrate the importance of distinguishing between skill shortages according to whether they have simple or complex causes.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6097.
Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2011
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org
Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General
- J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
- J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
- J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-11-21 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENT-2011-11-21 (Entrepreneurship)
- NEP-LAB-2011-11-21 (Labour Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Michael Coelli & Roger Wilkins, 2008. "Are Skills Shortages a Constraint on Increasing Employment in Australia?," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 41(3), pages 310-322, 09.
- Haskel, Jonathan & Martin, Christopher, 1993. "Do Skill Shortages Reduce Productivity? Theory and Evidence from the United Kingdom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(417), pages 386-94, March.
- Uschi Backes-Gellner & Simone Tuor, 2007.
"Avoiding Labor Shortages by Employer Signaling - On the Importance of Good Work Climate and Labor Relations,"
0067, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
- Uschi Backes-Gellner & Simone N. Tuor, 2010. "Avoiding Labor Shortages by Employer Signaling: On the Importance of Good Work Climate and Labor Relations," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 63(2), pages 271-286, January.
- Uschi Backes-Gellner & Simone Tuor, 2007. "Avoiding Labor Shortages by Employer Signaling - On the Importance of Good Work Climate and Labor Relations," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0010, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
- Haskel, Jonathan & Martin, Christopher, 1993. "The Causes of Skill Shortages in Britain," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 45(4), pages 573-88, October.
- Haskel, Jonathan & Martin, Christopher, 2001. "Technology, Wages, and Skill Shortages: Evidence from UK Micro Data," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(4), pages 642-58, October.
- Green, Francis & Machin, Stephen & Wilkinson, David, 1998. "The Meaning and Determinants of Skills Shortages," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 60(2), pages 165-87, May.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.