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The Optimality and Overuse of Labour in Estonian Manufacturing Enterprises

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  • Masso, Jaan

    ()
    (University of Tartu)

  • Heshmati, Almas

    ()
    (Jönköping University, Sogang University)

Abstract

For transition economies labour market flexibility is necessary for successful restructuring and reallocation of labour force and for coping with the requirements of the European Monetary Union. In this paper we apply a novel approach to the issue of labour market flexibility in transition countries by studying the optimality and efficiency of labour usage among Estonian manufacturing enterprises. A dynamic model is employed where both the long run optimal level of employment and the speed at which actual employment is adjusted to the optimal are modelled as functions of several variables. Firm level panel data from 1995 to 1999 were used. The results showed that in the long run employment responds greatest to wages, followed by value-added and capital stock. Speed of adjustment and labour use optimality and efficiency show much greater variations over firms than over time. In the course of time there occurs both labour saving technical change and an increase in the efficiency of labour usage. On average there is shortage of labour compared to firms’ own optimal level, while over use of labour compared to best-practice technology. Capital seems to be a binding constraint on the development of employment in the Estonian labour market.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 884.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economics of Transition, 2004, 12 (4), 683-720
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp884

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Keywords: flexibility; employment; efficiency; labour; Estonia;

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References

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  1. Battese, George E. & Heshmati, Almas & Hjalmarsson, Lennart, 1998. "Efficiency of Labour Use in the Swedish Banking Industry: A Stochastic Frontier Approach," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 289, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 13 Apr 1999.
  2. Jozef Konings & Hartmut Lehmann, 2002. "Marshall and Labor Demand in Russia: Going Back to Basics," CERT Discussion Papers 0203, Centre for Economic Reform and Transformation, Heriot Watt University.
  3. Baltagi, Badi H & Griffin, James M, 1988. "A General Index of Technical Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(1), pages 20-41, February.
  4. J. David Brown & John S. Earle, . "Gross Job Flows in Russian Industry Before and After Reforms: Has Destruction Become More Creative?," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles jse20021, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  5. Michael Funke & Jörg Rahn, 2000. "How Efficient is the East German Economy? An Exploration With Micro Data," Quantitative Macroeconomics Working Papers 20012, Hamburg University, Department of Economics.
  6. Polona Domadenik & Janez Prašnikar & Jan Svejnar, 2003. "Defensive and Strategic Restructuring of Firms during the Transition to a Market Economy," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 541, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  7. Kenneth R Troske, 1994. "Evidence on the Employer Size-Wage Premium From Worker-Establishment Matched Data," Working Papers 94-10, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  8. Kumbhakar, Subal C & Hjalmarsson, Lennart, 1995. "Labour-Use Efficiency in Swedish Social Insurance Offices," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(1), pages 33-47, Jan.-Marc.
  9. Tito Boeri & Katherine Terrell, 2002. "Institutional Determinants of Labor Reallocation in Transition," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(1), pages 51-76, Winter.
  10. Campos, Nauro F & Coricelli, Fabrizio, 2002. "Growth in Transition: What we Know, What we Don't and What we Should," CEPR Discussion Papers 3246, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Swati Basu & Saul Estrin & Jan Svejnar, 2000. "Employment and Wages in Enterprises Under Communism and in Transition: Evidence From Central Europe and Russia," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 440, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  12. Heshmati, Almas & Ncube, Mkhululi, 1998. "A Flexible Adjustment Model of Employment with Application to Zimbabwe's Manufacturing Industries," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 278, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 15 Aug 2003.
  13. Pissarides, Francesca & Singer, Miroslav & Svejnar, Jan, 2003. "Objectives and constraints of entrepreneurs: evidence from small and medium size enterprises in Russia and Bulgaria," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 503-531, September.
  14. Helena Hannula & Katrin Tamm, 2002. "Restructuring And Efficiency In The Estonian Manufacturing Industry: The Role Of Foreign Ownership," University of Tartu - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Working Paper Series 15, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu (Estonia), revised 2003.
  15. Faggio, Giulia & Konings, Jozef, 1999. "Gross Job Flows and Firm Growth in Transition Countries: Evidence Using Firm Level Data on Five Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 2261, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Subal Kumbhakar & Almas Heshmati & Lennart Hjalmarsson, 2002. "How Fast Do Banks Adjust? A Dynamic Model of Labor-Use with an Application to Swedish Banks," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 79-102, July.
  17. Raul Eamets & Urmas Varblane & Kaja Sostra, 2003. "External Macroeconomic Shocks and the Estonian economy: How did the Russian Financial Crisis affect Estonian Unemployment and Foreign Trade?," Baltic Journal of Economics, Baltic International Centre for Economic Policy Studies, vol. 3(2), pages 5-24, July.
  18. Haouas, Ilham & Yagoubi, Mahmoud & Heshmati, Almas, 2003. "Labour-Use Efficiency in Tunisian Manufacturing Industries," IZA Discussion Papers 687, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. Eamets, Raul & Masso, Jaan, 2004. "Labour Market Flexibility and Employment Protection Regulation in the Baltic States," IZA Discussion Papers 1147, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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Cited by:
  1. Tomasz Mickiewicz & Kate Bishop & Urmas Varblane, 2004. "Financial Constraints in Investment - Foreign Versus Domestic Firms. Panel Data Results From Estonia, 1995-1999," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2004-648, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  2. Piekkola, Hannu, 2006. "Tax cuts and employment: Evidence from Finnish linked employer-employee data," Discussion Papers 1041, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  3. Saggay, Ali & Heshmati, Almas & Adel Dhif, Mohamed, 2006. "Effects of Trade Liberalization on Domestic Prices: Some Evidence from Tunisian Manufacturing," Ratio Working Papers 96, The Ratio Institute.
  4. Maaja Vadi, 2003. "Background to the organisational culture developments in transitional Estonia," University of Tartu - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, in: Organisational Culture in Estonia : Manifestations and Consequences, volume 16, chapter 1, pages 27-46 Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu (Estonia).
  5. Thirunaukarasu Subramaniam & Ahmad Zubaidi Baharumshah, 2011. "Unemployment And Speed Of Adjustment In Asean-3 Economies: A Cointegration Analysis," The Singapore Economic Review (SER), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 56(03), pages 327-347.
  6. Heshmati, Almas, 2007. "Labor Market Policy Options of the Kurdistan Regional Government," IZA Discussion Papers 3247, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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