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Employment, innovation, and productivity: evidence from Italian microdata

  • Jacques Mairesse

Italian manufacturing firms have been losing ground with respect to many of their European competitors. This article presents some empirical evidence on the effects of innovation on employment growth and therefore on firms’ productivity with the goal of understanding the roots of such poor performance. We use firm level data from the last three surveys on Italian manufacturing firms conducted by Mediocredito-Capitalia, which cover the period 1995–2003. Using a slightly modified version of the model proposed by Harrison, Jaumandreu, Mairesse and Peters (Harrison et al. , 2005 ), which separates employment growth rates into those associated with old and new products, we find no evidence of significant employment displacement effects stemming from process innovation. The sources of employment growth during the period are split equally between the net contribution of product innovation and the net contribution from sales growth of old products. However, the contribution of product innovation to employment growth is somewhat lower than in the four European countries considered in Harrison et al. ( 2005 ), and the contribution of innovation in general to productivity growth is almost nil in Italy during this period. Copyright 2008 , Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Industrial and Corporate Change.

Volume (Year): 17 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 813-839

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Handle: RePEc:oup:indcch:v:17:y:2008:i:4:p:813-839
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  1. Van Reenen, John, 1997. "Employment and Technological Innovation: Evidence from U.K. Manufacturing Firms," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(2), pages 255-84, April.
  2. David Blanchflower & Simon Burgess, 1996. "New Technology and Jobs: Comparative Evidence from a Two Country Study," CEP Discussion Papers dp0285, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. Zvi Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1981. "Productivity and R and D at the Firm Level," NBER Working Papers 0826, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Harrison, Rupert & Jaumandreu, Jordi & Mairesse, Jacques & Peters, Bettina, 2005. "Does innovation stimulate employment? A firm-level analysis using comparable micro data on four European countries," MPRA Paper 1245, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Blechinger, Doris & Kleinknecht, Alfred & Licht, Georg & Pfeiffer, Friedhelm, 1998. "The impact of innovation on employment in Europe: An analysis using CIS data," ZEW Dokumentationen 98-02, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  6. Peters, Bettina, 2005. "Employment Effects of Different Innovation Activities: Microeconometric Evidence," ZEW Discussion Papers 04-73 [rev.], ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  7. Doms, Mark & Dunne, Timothy & Roberts, Mark J., 1995. "The role of technology use in the survival and growth of manufacturing plants," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 523-542, December.
  8. Nathalie Greenan & Dominique Guellec, 2000. "Technological Innovation and Employment Reallocation," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 14(4), pages 547-590, December.
  9. Zvi Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1984. "Productivity and R&D at the Firm Level," NBER Chapters, in: R&D, Patents, and Productivity, pages 339-374 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Piva, Mariacristina & Vivarelli, Marco, 2003. "Innovation and Employment: Evidence from Italian Microdata," IZA Discussion Papers 730, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Rottmann, Horst & Lachenmaier, Stefan, 2007. "Employment effects of innovation at the firm level," OTH im Dialog: Weidener Diskussionspapiere 3, University of Applied Sciences Amberg-Weiden (OTH).
  12. Brouwer, Erik & Kleinknecht, Alfred & Reijnen, Jeroen O N, 1993. "Employment Growth and Innovation at the Firm Level," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 153-59, May.
  13. Zimmermann, Klaus F, 1991. "The Employment Consequences of Technological Advance, Demand and Labor Costs in 16 German Industries," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 253-66.
  14. Francesca Lotti & Fabiano Schivardi, 2005. "Cross Country Differences in Patent Propensity: A Firm-Level Investigation," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 64(4), pages 469-502, December.
  15. Browyn Hall & Francis Kramakz, 1998. "Effects Of Technology And Innovation On Firm Performance, Employment, And Wages," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(2-4), pages 99-108.
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