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Assessing job flows across countries : the role of industry, firm size, and regulations

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  • Haltiwanger, John
  • Scarpetta, Stefano
  • Schweiger, Helena

Abstract

This paper reviews the process of job creation and destruction across a sample of 16 industrial and emerging economies over the past decade. It exploits a harmonized firm-level data set drawn from business registers and enterprise census data. The paper assesses the importance of technological factors that characterize different industries in explaining cross-country differences in job flows. It shows that industry effects play an important role in shaping job flows at the aggregate level. Even more importantly, differences in the size composition of firms-within each industry-explain a large fraction of the overall variability in job creation and destruction. However, even after controlling for industry/technology and size factors there remain significant differences in job flows across countries that could reflect differences in business environment conditions. The authors look at one factor shaping the business environment, namely, regulations on hiring and firing ofworkers. To minimize possible endogeneity and omitted variable problems associated with cross-country regressions, we use a difference-in-difference approach. The empirical results suggest that stringent hiring and firing costs reduce job turnover, especially in those industries that require more frequent labor adjustment. Regulations also distort the patterns of industry/size flows. Within each industry, medium and large firms are more severely affected by stringent labor regulations, while small firms are less affected, probably because they are partially exempted from such regulations or can more easily circumvent them.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4070.

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Date of creation: 01 Nov 2006
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4070

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Keywords: Labor Markets; Small Scale Enterprise; Microfinance; Inequality; Water and Industry;

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References

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  1. Lucia Foster & John C. Haltiwanger & C. J. Krizan, 2001. "Aggregate Productivity Growth. Lessons from Microeconomic Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: New Developments in Productivity Analysis, pages 303-372 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. John Haltiwanger & Steven J. Davis, 1999. "On the Driving Forces behind Cyclical Movements in Employment and Job Reallocation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1234-1258, December.
  3. Baldwin, John R. & Harchaoui, Tarek, 2002. "Productivity Growth in Canada," Productivity Growth in Canada, Statistics Canada, Economic Analysis, number stcb6e, December.
  4. Giuseppe Bertola, 1991. "Labor Turnover Costs and Average Labor Demand," NBER Working Papers 3866, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Boeri, Tito, 1999. "Enforcement of employment security regulations, on-the-job search and unemployment duration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 65-89, January.
  6. Giuseppe Bertola & Richard Rogerson, 1996. "Institutions and Labor Reallocation," NBER Working Papers 5828, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. James J. Heckman & Carmen Pag├ęs, 2004. "Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number heck04-1.
  8. Pakes, A. & Ericson, R., 1990. "Empirical Implications Of Alternative Models Of Firm Dynamics," Papers 594, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  9. Rajan, Raghuram G & Zingales, Luigi, 1998. "Financial Dependence and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 559-86, June.
  10. Claessens, Stijn & Laeven, Luc, 2002. "Financial development, property rights, and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2924, The World Bank.
  11. Dunne, T. & Roberts, M.J. & Samuelson L., 1988. "Plant Turnover And Gross Employment Flows In The U.S. Manufacturing Sector," Papers 9-87-7, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  12. G. Steven Olley & Ariel Pakes, 1992. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," NBER Working Papers 3977, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Klapper, Leora & Laeven, Luc & Rajan, Raghuram G, 2004. "Business Environment and Firm Entry: Evidence from International Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 4366, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Alejandro Micco - Carmen Pages, 2004. "Employment Protection and Gross Job Flows1," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 295, Econometric Society.
  15. Eric J. Bartelsman & John Haltiwanger & Stefano Scarpetta, 2004. "Microeconomic Evidence of Creative Destruction in Industrial and Developing Countries," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-114/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  16. Haltiwanger, John C. & Vodopivec, Milan, 2002. "Worker Flows, Job Flows and Firm Wage Policies: An Analysis of Slovenia," IZA Discussion Papers 569, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. repec:dgr:uvatin:2004114 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Eric Bartelsman & John Haltiwanger & Stefano Scarpetta, 2009. "Measuring and Analyzing Cross-country Differences in Firm Dynamics," NBER Chapters, in: Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data, pages 15-76 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Hopenhayn, Hugo & Rogerson, Richard, 1993. "Job Turnover and Policy Evaluation: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(5), pages 915-38, October.
  20. C.J. Krizan & John Haltiwanger & Lucia Foster, 2002. "The Link Between Aggregate and Micro Productivity Growth: Evidence from Retail Trade," Working Papers 02-18, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  21. John Haltiwanger & Milan Vodopivec, 2003. "Worker flows, job flows and firm wage policies," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 11(2), pages 253-290, June.
  22. 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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