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Flexibilität der Qualifikationsstruktur aus betrieblicher Sicht: Substitutionalität oder Komplementarität / Flexibility of Firms’ Labor Demand: Substitutability or Complementarity

Author

Listed:
  • Bellmann Lutz

    () (Wissenschaftlicher Direktor im Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung der Bundesanstalt für Arbeit, Regensburger Str. 104, 90327 Nürnberg)

  • Bender Stefan
  • Schänk Thorsten

    (Nürnberg)

Abstract

Based on merged data from the IAB-establishment panel survey and the historic files of the employment statistics register, a translog cost system was estimated for six qualification groups (blue and white collar workers stratified into unskilled, skilled and highly-skilled employees) for West German production industries for the year 1995. Substitution possibilities between differently qualified employees are investigated at the establishment level. The derived substitutional relationships within the blue collar workers were very similar to those within the white collar workers. Skilled employees and, to a lesser extent, highly skilled employees are substitutes for the unskilled. This could at least partly explain the rise in unemployment amongst the unskilled. In contrast, the demand for skilled workers does not depend on the wage of the highly skilled employees and vice versa. The frequently cited results that the own-wage demand elasticity decreases with skill, can be confirmed between skilled and highly skilled employees, but not between skilled and unskilled employees. The elasticities of substitution between blue collar and white collar workers are relatively low; unskilled, skilled and highly skilled blue collar workers are found to be complements to the analogue group of white collar workers. Finally, the evidence does not favor the capital-skill complementarity hypothesis.

Suggested Citation

  • Bellmann Lutz & Bender Stefan & Schänk Thorsten, 1999. "Flexibilität der Qualifikationsstruktur aus betrieblicher Sicht: Substitutionalität oder Komplementarität / Flexibility of Firms’ Labor Demand: Substitutability or Complementarity," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 219(1-2), pages 109-126, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:jns:jbstat:v:219:y:1999:i:1-2:p:109-126
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Feldstein, Martin, 1996. "The Missing Piece in Policy Analysis: Social Security Reform," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 1-14.
    2. Homburg, Stefan, 1997. "Kapitaldeckung als praktikable Leitidee," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 61-85.
    3. Homburg, Stefan & Richter, Wolfram, 1990. "Eine effizienzorientierte Reform der GRV," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 183-191..
    4. Bernd Raffelhüschen, 1993. "Funding social security through Pareto-optimal conversion policies," Journal of Economics, Springer, pages 105-131.
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    Cited by:

    1. Frondel, Manuel & Schmidt, Christoph M., 2001. "Rejecting capital-skill complementarity at all costs," ZEW Discussion Papers 01-27, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    2. Frondel, Manuel & Schmidt, Christoph M., 2003. "Rejecting capital-skill complementarity at all costs," Economics Letters, Elsevier, pages 15-21.

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