IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jcecon/v44y2016i2p213-230.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Human capital, employment protection and growth in Europe

Author

Listed:
  • Conti, Maurizio
  • Sulis, Giovanni

Abstract

Using data for a large sample of manufacturing and service sectors in 14 EU countries, this paper shows that the value added and TFP growth rate differential between high and low human capital intensive industries is greater in countries with low than countries with high levels of employment protection legislation. We also find that such negative effect of EPL is slightly stronger for countries near the technology frontier, in the manufacturing sector and after the 1990s. We interpret these results suggesting that technology adoption depends on the skill level of the workforce and on the capacity of firms to adjust employment as technology changes: therefore, firing costs have a stronger impact in sectors where technical change is more skill-biased and technology adoption more important.

Suggested Citation

  • Conti, Maurizio & Sulis, Giovanni, 2016. "Human capital, employment protection and growth in Europe," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 213-230.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:44:y:2016:i:2:p:213-230
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jce.2015.01.007
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0147596715000232
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Andrea Bassanini & Luca Nunziata & Danielle Venn, 2009. "Job protection legislation and productivity growth in OECD countries," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 24, pages 349-402, April.
    2. Gueorgui Kambourov, 2009. "Labour Market Regulations and the Sectoral Reallocation of Workers: The Case of Trade Reforms," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(4), pages 1321-1358.
    3. Federico Cingano & Marco Leonardi & Julián Messina & Giovanni Pica, 2010. "The effects of employment protection legislation and financial market imperfections on investment: evidence from a firm-level panel of EU countries," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 25, pages 117-163, January.
    4. Francesco Caselli & Wilbur John Coleman, 2001. "Cross-Country Technology Diffusion: The Case of Computers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 328-335, May.
    5. Givord, Pauline & Maurin, Eric, 2004. "Changes in job security and their causes: An empirical analysis for France, 1982-2002," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 595-615, June.
    6. Gilles Saint-Paul, 2002. "The Political Economy of Employment Protection," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(3), pages 672-701, June.
    7. Bertola, Giuseppe, 1994. "Flexibility, investment, and growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 215-238, October.
    8. Alejandro Cuñat & Marc J. Melitz, 2012. "Volatility, Labor Market Flexibility, And The Pattern Of Comparative Advantage," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 225-254, April.
    9. Poschke, Markus, 2009. "Employment protection, firm selection, and growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1074-1085, November.
    10. Daniele Checchi & Claudio Lucifora, 2002. "Unions and labour market institutions in Europe," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 17(35), pages 361-408, October.
    11. William Kerr & Adriana Kugler & David Autor, 2007. "Do Employment Protections Reduce Productivity? Evidence from U.S. States," Working Papers 07-04, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    12. Juan C. Botero & Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "The Regulation of Labor," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1339-1382.
    13. Ricardo Lagos, 2006. "A Model of TFP," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(4), pages 983-1007.
    14. Bassanini, Andrea & Garnero, Andrea, 2013. "Dismissal protection and worker flows in OECD countries: Evidence from cross-country/cross-industry data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 25-41.
    15. Winfried Koeniger & Marco Leonardi, 2007. "Capital deepening and wage differentials: Germany versus US," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 22, pages 71-116, January.
    16. Stephen Nickell & Luca Nunziata & Wolfgang Ochel, 2005. "Unemployment in the OECD Since the 1960s. What Do We Know?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(500), pages 1-27, January.
    17. Lorenzo Cappellari & Carlo Dell’Aringa & Marco Leonardi, 2012. "Temporary Employment, Job Flows and Productivity: A Tale of Two Reforms," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(562), pages 188-215, August.
    18. Hyunbae Chun, 2003. "Information Technology and the Demand for Educated Workers: Disentangling the Impacts of Adoption versus Use," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(1), pages 1-8, February.
    19. Micco, Alejandro & Pagés, Carmen, 2006. "The Economic Effects of Employment Protection: Evidence from International Industry-Level Data," IZA Discussion Papers 2433, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    20. Rajan, Raghuram G & Zingales, Luigi, 1998. "Financial Dependence and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 559-586, June.
    21. L. Rachel Ngai & Christopher A. Pissarides, 2007. "Structural Change in a Multisector Model of Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 429-443, March.
    22. Antonio Ciccone & Elias Papaioannou, 2010. "Estimating Cross-Industry Cross-Country Models Using Benchmark Industry Characteristics," Working Papers 504, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    23. Antonio Ciccone & Elias Papaioannou, 2009. "Human Capital, the Structure of Production, and Growth," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 66-82, February.
    24. Scarpetta, Stefano & Tressel, Thierry, 2004. "Boosting productivity via innovation and adoption of new technologies : any role for labor market institutions?," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 29144, The World Bank.
    25. Markus Poschke, 2010. "The Regulation of Entry and Aggregate Productivity," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(549), pages 1175-1200, December.
    26. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong-Wha, 2001. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 541-563, July.
    27. Etienne Wasmer & Alexandre Janiak, 2014. "Employment protection and capital-labor ratios," Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers 2014-11, Sciences Po Departement of Economics.
    28. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1997. "Is labour rigidity harming Europe's competitiveness? The effect of job protection on the pattern of trade and welfare," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 499-506, April.
    29. Pierre, Gaelle & Scarpetta, Stefano, 2006. "Employment protection: Do firms' perceptions match with legislation?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 90(3), pages 328-334, March.
    30. Mason, Geoff & O'Leary, Brigid & Vecchi, Michela, 2012. "Certified and uncertified skills and productivity growth performance: Cross-country evidence at industry level," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 351-360.
    31. Claudio Michelacci & David Lopez-Salido, 2007. "Technology Shocks and Job Flows," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(4), pages 1195-1227.
    32. Feldmann, Horst, 2009. "The unemployment effects of labor regulation around the world," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 76-90, March.
    33. Daron Acemoglu, 2003. "Cross-Country Inequality Trends," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages 121-149, February.
    34. Howitt, Peter & Aghion, Philippe, 2006. "Appropriate Growth Policy: A Unifying Framework," Scholarly Articles 4554121, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    35. O'Mahony, Mary & Robinson, Catherine & Vecchi, Michela, 2008. "The impact of ICT on the demand for skilled labour: A cross-country comparison," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 1435-1450, December.
    36. Jérôme Vandenbussche & Philippe Aghion & Costas Meghir, 2006. "Growth, distance to frontier and composition of human capital," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 97-127, June.
    37. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2002. "Employment protection, international specialization, and innovation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 375-395, February.
    38. Michele Belot & Jan Boone & Jan Van Ours, 2007. "Welfare-Improving Employment Protection," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 74(295), pages 381-396, August.
    39. Gust, Christopher & Marquez, Jaime, 2004. "International comparisons of productivity growth: the role of information technology and regulatory practices," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 33-58, February.
    40. Diego Comin & Bart Hobijn, 2010. "An Exploration of Technology Diffusion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2031-2059, December.
    41. Daniele Checchi & Claudio Lucifora, 2002. "Unions and labour market institutions in Europe," Departmental Working Papers 2002-16, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    42. Micco, Alejandro & Pagés, Carmen, 2006. "The Economic Effects of Employment Protection: Evidence from International Industry-Level Data," IZA Discussion Papers 2433, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    43. Francesco Caselli, 1999. "Technological Revolutions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 78-102, March.
    44. Philippe Aghion & Peter Howitt, 2006. "Joseph Schumpeter Lecture Appropriate Growth Policy: A Unifying Framework," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 269-314, 04-05.
    45. Jesper Antelius & Lars Lundberg, 2003. "Competition, Market Structure and Job Turnover," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 211-226, September.
    46. Diego A. Comin & Martí Mestieri, 2010. "An Intensive Exploration of Technology Diffusion," NBER Working Papers 16379, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    47. Stephen Machin & John Van Reenen, 1998. "Technology and Changes in Skill Structure: Evidence from Seven OECD Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1215-1244.
    48. Giuseppe Fiori & Giuseppe Nicoletti & Stefano Scarpetta & Fabio Schiantarelli, 2012. "Employment Effects of Product and Labour Market Reforms: Are There Synergies?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(558), pages 79-104, February.
    49. Francesco Caselli & Wilbur John Coleman II, 2002. "The U.S. Technology Frontier," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 148-152, May.
    50. Janiak, Alexandre & Wasmer, Etienne, 2014. "Employment Protection and Capital-Labor Ratios," IZA Discussion Papers 8362, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    51. 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 915-938, October.
    52. Ann Bartel & Casey Ichniowski & Kathryn Shaw, 2007. "How Does Information Technology Affect Productivity? Plant-Level Comparisons of Product Innovation, Process Improvement, and Worker Skills," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1721-1758.
    53. Ton van Schaik & Theo van de Klundert, 2013. "Employment protection legislation and catching-up," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(8), pages 973-981, March.
    54. Peter Klenow & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 1997. "The Neoclassical Revival in Growth Economics: Has It Gone Too Far?," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 73-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    55. Roberto M. Samaniego, 2006. "Employment Protection and High-Tech Aversion," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(2), pages 224-241, April.
    56. David H. Autor & William R. Kerr & Adriana D. Kugler, 2007. "Does Employment Protection Reduce Productivity? Evidence From US States," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(521), pages 189-217, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Filippo Belloc, 2015. "Employee Representation Legislations and Innovation," Department of Economics University of Siena 719, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    2. Bottasso, Anna & Conti, Maurizio & Sulis, Giovanni, 2017. "Firm dynamics and employment protection: Evidence from sectoral data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 35-53.
    3. Gilbert Cette & Jimmy Lopez & Jacques Mairesse, 2016. "Labour Market Regulations and Capital Intensity," NBER Working Papers 22603, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Cardullo, Gabriele & Conti, Maurizio & Sulis, Giovanni, 2015. "Sunk capital, unions and the hold-up problem: Theory and evidence from cross-country sectoral data," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 253-274.
    5. Samuel Danthine & Markus Poschke & Stephane Auray, 2016. "Understanding Severance Pay Determination: Mandates, Bargaining, and Unions," 2016 Meeting Papers 967, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. Cette Gilbert & Lopez Jimmy & Mairesse Jacques, 2017. "Employment protection legislation impacts on capital and skill composition," Working Papers 2017-57, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
    7. Heywood, John S. & O'Mahony, Mary & Siebert, W. Stanley & Rincon-Aznar, Ana, 2018. "The Impact of Employment Protection on the Industrial Wage Structure," IZA Discussion Papers 11788, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. repec:nse:ecosta:ecostat_2018_503-504_7 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:eee:ecmode:v:64:y:2017:i:c:p:1-19 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Claudia Cigagna & Giovanni Sulis, 2015. "On the potential interaction between labour market institutions and immigration policies," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 36(4), pages 441-468, July.
    11. Peng, Fei & Anwar, Sajid & Kang, Lili, 2017. "New technology and old institutions: An empirical analysis of the skill-biased demand for older workers in Europe," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 1-19.
    12. repec:hal:journl:hal-01981426 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Wang, Hao & Fidrmuc, Jan & Tian, Yunhua, 2018. "Growing against the background of colonization? Chinese labor market and FDI in a historical perspective," BOFIT Discussion Papers 14/2018, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
    14. Auray, Stéphane & Danthine, Samuel & Poschke, Markus, 2014. "Mandated versus Negotiated Severance Pay," IZA Discussion Papers 8422, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Employment protection legislation; Human capital; Technology adoption; Growth; Sectors;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:44:y:2016:i:2:p:213-230. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622864 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.