IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Innovation, workers skills and industrial relations: Empirical evidence from firm-level Italian data

  • Antonioli, Davide
  • Manzalini, Rocco
  • Pini, Paolo

The shifting of labour demand toward relatively more skilled workers has been a hot issue in the economic field for many years. A consolidated explanation for the upskilling phenomenon is that technological-organisational changes have driven the labour demand with detrimental consequences for less skilled workers (skill-biased technological-organisational change). In order to upgrade the skill workforce the firm has at least two main channels at its disposal: the external labour market strategy, mainly based on hiring and firing mechanisms; the internal labour market strategies, which improve the skill base of the employees through training activities. The main objective of the present work is to verify the relations between innovative strategies and both the workforce composition and the training activities, within an integrated framework that also leads us to consider the role of specific aspects of the industrial relations system. The firm level analysis is based on original datasets which include data on manufacturing firms for two Italian local production systems, located in the Emilia-Romagna region. The results suggest that the firms use both the two channels to improve their skill base, which is actually related to the innovation activities, although there is weak supporting evidence of the use of external labour markets to upgrade the workforce skills: the upskilling phenomenon seems to be associated to specific innovative activities in the technological sphere, while specific organisational aspects emerge as detrimental for blue collars. On the side of internal labour market strategies the evidence supports the hypothesis that innovation intensity induces the firms to implement internal procedures in order to upskill the workforce, confirming the importance of internal labour market strategies. Moreover, we have recognized the important role of firm level industrial relations in determining the training activities for the blue collar workers.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6W5H-525YP5T-1/2/ac2a7252b8a4464f1eacb71793150122
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 under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

Volume (Year): 40 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 312-326

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:40:y:2011:i:3:p:312-326
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J., 1997. "Reorganization of Firms and Labor Market Inequality," Seminar Papers 605, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  2. Acemoglu, Daron & Aghion, Philippe & Violante, Giovanni L., 2001. "Deunionization, technical change and inequality," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 229-264, December.
  3. Guidetti, Giovanni & Mazzanti, Massimiliano, 2007. "Firm-level training in local economic systems: Complementarities in production and firm innovation strategies," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 875-894, December.
  4. Piva, Mariacristina & Santarelli, Enrico & Vivarelli, Marco, 2005. "The skill bias effect of technological and organisational change: Evidence and policy implications," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 141-157, March.
  5. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2003. "The Skill Content Of Recent Technological Change: An Empirical Exploration," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1279-1333, November.
  6. L. BEHAGHEL & E. CAROLI & Emmanuelle WALKOWIAK, 2007. "Innovation and Skill Upgrading: The Rôle of External vs Internal Labour Markets," Working Papers 770, Orleans Economic Laboratorys, University of Orleans.
  7. Dominique Goux & Eric Maurin, 2000. "The Decline In Demand For Unskilled Labor: An Empirical Analysis Method And Its Application To France," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(4), pages 596-607, November.
  8. Massimiliano Bratti & Nicola Matteucci, 2005. "Is there skilled-biased technological change in Italian manufacturing? Evidence from firm-level data," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 48(1-2), pages 153-182.
  9. Aguirregabiria, Victor & Alonso-Borrego, Cesar, 2001. "Occupational structure, technological innovation, and reorganization of production," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 43-73, January.
  10. Garcia-Penalosa, Cecilia & Aghion, Philippe & Caroli, Eve, 1999. "Inequality and Economic Growth: The Perspective of the New Growth Theories," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/10091, Paris Dauphine University.
  11. Lisa M. Lynch & Sandra E. Black, 1998. "Beyond the incidence of employer-provided training," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 52(1), pages 64-81, October.
  12. Paola CASAVOLA & Andréa GAVOSTO & Paolo SESTITO, 1996. "Technical Progres and Wage Dispersion in Italy: Evidence from Firm's Data," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 41-42, pages 387-412.
  13. Bauer, Thomas K. & Bender, Stefan, 2004. "Technological change, organizational change, and job turnover," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 265-291, June.
  14. Caroli, Eve & Van Reenen, John, 1999. "Skill biased organizational change? Evidence from a panel of British and French establishments," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9917, CEPREMAP.
  15. Gilberto Antonelli & Roberto Antonietti & Giovanni Guidetti, 2010. "Organizational Change, Skill Formation, Human Capital Measurement: Evidence From Italian Manufacturing Firms," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(2), pages 206-247, 04.
  16. Timothy F. Bresnahan, 1997. "Computerization and Wage Dispersion: An Analytical Reinterpretation," Working Papers 97031, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  17. Falk, Martin, 2001. "Organizational change, new information and communication technologies and the demand for labor in services," ZEW Discussion Papers 01-25, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  18. Luc Behaghel & Eve Caroli & Emmanuelle Walkowiak, 2008. "Innovation and skill upgrading: The role of external vs internal labour markets," PSE Working Papers halshs-00588316, HAL.
  19. Davide Antonioli & Massimiliano Mazzanti & Paolo Pini, 2010. "Productivity, innovation strategies and industrial relations in SMEs. Empirical evidence for a local production system in northern Italy," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(4), pages 453-482.
  20. Sanders Mark & Weel Bas ter, 2000. "Skill-Biased Technical Change: Theoretical Concepts, Empirical Problems and a Survey of the Evidence," Research Memorandum 012, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  21. 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, MIT Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1721-1758, November.
  22. Caroli, Eve & Greenan, Nathalie & Guellec, Dominique, 2001. "Organizational Change and Skill Accumulation," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 481-506, June.
  23. Jacques Mairesse & Nathalie Greenan & Agnes Topiol-Bensaid, 2001. "Information Technology and Research and Development Impacts on Productivity and Skills: Looking for Correlations on French Firm Level Data," NBER Working Papers 8075, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Richard B. Freeman, 1995. "Are Your Wages Set in Beijing?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 15-32, Summer.
  25. Roberto Antonietti & Davide Antonioli, 2011. "The impact of production offshoring on the skill composition of manufacturing firms: evidence from Italy," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(1), pages 87-105.
  26. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:15:y:2008:i:7:p:1-10 is not listed on IDEAS
  27. Caroli, Eve, 2001. "New technologies, organizational change and the skill bias: what do we know?," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/10054, Paris Dauphine University.
  28. Paolo Pini & Grazia Santangelo, 2005. "Innovation types and labour organisational practices: A comparison of foreign and domestic firms in the Reggio Emilia industrial districts," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(4), pages 251-276.
  29. Mariacristina Piva & Enrico Santarelli & Marco Vivarelli, 2006. "Technological and organizational changes as determinants of the skill bias: evidence from the Italian machinery industry," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(1), pages 63-73.
  30. Antonioli Davide, 2009. "Industrial Relations, Techno-Organizational Innovation and Firm Economic Performance," Economia politica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 1, pages 21-52.
  31. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "The Economics of Modern Manufacturing: Technology, Strategy, and Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 511-28, June.
  32. Paolo Naticchioni & Andrea Ricci & Emiliano Rustichelli, 2008. "Wage Inequality, Employment Structure and Skill-biased Change in Italy," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 22(s1), pages 27-51, 06.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:40:y:2011:i:3:p:312-326. 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: (Zhang, Lei)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.