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Technological Progress, Downsizing and Unemployment


  • Boone, Jan


This paper presents a model where the form of innovations is endogenous. It is shown that with labour market imperfections, which raise the wage above the shadow price of labour, firms over-invest in innovations cutting labour costs and under-invest in increasing quality. As a result, the market outcome features lower long run growth, higher unemployment and lower welfare than the social optimum. It is further shown that a firm's incentives to cut labour costs are increased as wages rise and as the firm declines. Finally, a rise in competition increases incentives to downsize for firms with below average quality performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Boone, Jan, 2000. "Technological Progress, Downsizing and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(465), pages 581-600, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:110:y:2000:i:465:p:581-600

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Tybout, James & de Melo, Jamie & Corbo, Vittorio, 1991. "The effects of trade reforms on scale and technical efficiency : New evidence from Chile," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3-4), pages 231-250, November.
    2. Tybout, James R. & Westbrook, M. Daniel, 1995. "Trade liberalization and the dimensions of efficiency change in Mexican manufacturing industries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1-2), pages 53-78, August.
    3. Mark J. Roberts & James R. Tybout, 1991. "Size Rationalization and Trade Exposure in Developing Countries," NBER Chapters,in: Empirical Studies of Commercial Policy, pages 169-200 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Hay, Donald A & Liu, Guy S, 1997. "The Efficiency of Firms: What Difference Does Competition Make?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(442), pages 597-617, May.
    5. Nickell, Stephen J, 1996. "Competition and Corporate Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 724-746, August.
    6. Nickell, Stephen & Wadhwani, Sushil & Wall, Martin, 1992. "Productivity growth in U.K. companies, 1975-1986," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 1055-1085, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Chu, Angus C. & Cozzi, Guido & Furukawa, Yuichi, 2016. "Unions, innovation and cross-country wage inequality," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 104-118.
    2. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2002. "Employment protection, international specialization, and innovation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 375-395, February.
    3. Horst Feldmann, 2013. "Technological unemployment in industrial countries," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 23(5), pages 1099-1126, November.
    4. Chu, Angus C. & Cozzi, Guido & Furukawa, Yuichi, 2014. "Labor Unions, Directed Technical Change and Cross-Country Income Inequality," MPRA Paper 58886, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Lingens, Jorg, 2003. "The impact of a unionised labour market in a Schumpeterian growth model," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 91-104, February.
    6. Ziesemer, Thomas, 2002. "Monopolistic Competition, Search Unemployment, and Macroeconomics," Research Memorandum 021, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    7. repec:eee:jeborg:v:137:y:2017:i:c:p:90-104 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Dong, Xiao-yuan & Xu, Lixin Colin, 2009. "Labor restructuring in China: Toward a functioning labor market," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 287-305, June.
    9. Gersbach, Hans & Schniewind, Achim, 2001. "Awareness of General Equilibrium Effects and Unemployment," IZA Discussion Papers 394, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Jörg Lingens, 2002. "The Impact of a Unionised Labour Market in a Schumpeterian Growth Model," Labor and Demography 0207003, EconWPA.
    11. Lars Calmfors & Giancarlo Corsetti & Seppo Honkapohja & John Kay & Gilles Saint-Paul & Hans-Werner Sinn & Jan-Egbert Sturm & Xavier Vives, 2006. "Chapter 3: Economic Growth in the European Union," EEAG Report on the European Economy, CESifo Group Munich, vol. 0, pages 68-88, March.

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