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How Do Industries and Firms Respond to Changes in Local Labor Supply?

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Author Info

  • Dustmann, Christian

    ()
    (University College London)

  • Glitz, Albrecht

    ()
    (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

Abstract

In this paper, we investigate how changes in the skill mix of local labor supply are absorbed by the economy. We distinguish between three adjustment mechanisms: through factor prices, through an expansion in the size of those production units that use the more abundant skill group more intensively, and through more intensive use of the more abundant skill group within production units. We investigate which of these channels is dominant. We contribute to the existing literature by analyzing these adjustments on the level of firms, rather than industries, and by assessing the role of new firms in the absorption process of labor supply shocks. Our analysis is based on administrative data, comprising the entirety of firms in Germany over a 10 years period. We find that, while factor price adjustments are important in the non-tradable sector, labor supply shocks do not induce factor price changes in the tradable sector. In this sector, most of the adjustment to changes in relative factor supplies takes place within firms by changing relative factor intensities. Given the non-response of factor prices, this finding points towards changes in production technology. Our results further show, that firms that enter and exit the market are an important additional channel of adjustment. Finally, we demonstrate that an industry level analysis is likely to over-emphasize technology-based adjustments.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6257.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: forthcoming in: Journal of Labor Economics, 2014
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6257

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Keywords: firm structure; endogenous technological change; immigration;

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References

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  16. Christian Dustmann & Tommaso Frattini & Ian Preston, 2008. "The Effect of Immigration along the Distribution of Wages," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0803, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Christian Dustmann & Albrecht Glitz & Tommaso Frattini, 2008. "The labour market impact of immigration," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(3), pages 478-495, Autumn.
  2. Yasser Abdih & Jihad Dagher & Peter Montiel, 2010. "Remittances and Institutions: Are Remittances a Curse?," Department of Economics Working Papers 2010-13, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  3. Antonio Accetturo & Matteo Bugamelli & Andrea Lamorgese, 2012. "Welcome to the machine: firms' reaction to low-skilled immigration," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 846, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  4. Antonio Ciccone & Giovanni Peri, 2011. "Schooling Supply and the Structure of Production: Evidence from US States 1950-1990," Working Papers 595, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  5. Libertad González Luna & Francesc Ortega, 2007. "How do very open economies adjust to large immigration flows? Recent evidence from Spanish regions," Economics Working Papers 1059, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  6. Libertad González & Francesc Ortega, 2008. "How Do Very Open Economies Absorb Large Immigration Flows? Recent Evidence from Spanish Regions," Economic Reports 06-08, FEDEA.
  7. González, Libertad & Ortega, Francesc, 2011. "How do very open economies adjust to large immigration flows? Evidence from Spanish regions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 57-70, January.

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