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Labour, productivity and growth: an introductory essay

  • Enrico Marelli
  • Francesco Pastore

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to introduce the special issue on “Labour, productivity and growth”. Design/methodology/approach – The paper discusses the articles in the special issue, which investigate the main theme – labour, productivity and growth – from different points of view by employing a variety of econometric methods. These include improvement of the evaluation of the impact of labour market flexibility on economic performance, analysis of the macroeconomic law of decreasing returns to labour, a new panel co-integration method, and a reinterpretation of co-integration analysis to assess the impact of incomes policy. Institutional variables, in particular the system of industrial relations, are duly considered. Findings – The papers in the special issue highlight different causes of sluggish economic (productivity) growth in Europe, in the light of not only traditional macroeconomic variables, such as total factor productivity and labour market flexibility, but also such factors as neo-corporatist industrial relations and management practices, which are generally neglected in the literature. Originality/value – The paper introduces a number of articles proposing innovations in the interpretation and application of a wide range of theoretical approaches and econometric methodologies. It also discusses several policy suggestions for fighting sluggish productivity growth, including investment in research and development, human capital, flexicurity, innovative industrial relations practices and high-performance workplace practices also considered capable of affecting macroeconomic performance.

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Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal International Journal of Manpower.

Volume (Year): 31 (2010)
Issue (Month): 7 (November)
Pages: 701-712

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Handle: RePEc:eme:ijmpps:v:31:y:2010:i:7:p:701-712
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  1. Acocella Nicola & Leoni Riccardo, 2010. "La riforma della contrattazione: redistribuzione perversa o produzione di reddito?," Rivista italiana degli economisti, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 2, pages 237-274.
  2. Dean Baker & Andrew Glyn & David Howell & John Schmitt, 2002. "Labor Market Institutions and Unemployment: A Critical Assessment of the Cross-Country Evidence," SCEPA working paper series. SCEPA's main areas of research are macroeconomic policy, inequality and poverty, and globalization. 2002-17, Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA), The New School.
  3. Tito Boeri & Pietro Garibaldi, 2009. "Beyond Eurosclerosis," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 24, pages 409-461, 07.
  4. Kevin J. Stiroh, 2002. "Information Technology and the U.S. Productivity Revival: What Do the Industry Data Say?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1559-1576, December.
  5. Nicola Brandt & Jean-Marc Burniaux & Romain Duval, 2005. "Assessing the OECD Jobs Strategy: Past Developments and Reforms," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 429, OECD Publishing.
  6. Belorgey, Nicolas & Lecat, Remy & Maury, Tristan-Pierre, 2006. "Determinants of productivity per employee: An empirical estimation using panel data," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 153-157, May.
  7. Leonello Tronti, 2010. "The Italian productivity slow-down: the role of the bargaining model," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 31(7), pages 770-792, November.
  8. Newell, A. & Symons, J. S. V., 1987. "Corporatism, laissez-faire and the rise in unemployment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 567-601, April.
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