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Skill-Biased Organizational Change? Evidence from A Panel of British and French Establishments

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  • Eve Caroli
  • John Van Reenen

Abstract

This paper investigates the determination and consequences of organizational changes (OC) in a panel of British and French establishments. Organizational changes include the decentralization of authority, delayering of managerial functions, and increased multitasking. We argue that OC and skills are complements. We offer support for the hypothesis of "skill-biased" organizational change with three empirical findings. First, organizational changes reduce the demand for unskilled workers in both countries. Second, OC is negatively associated with increases in regional skill price differentials (a measure of the relative supply of skill). Third, OC leads to greater productivity increases in establishments with larger initial skill endowments. Technical change is also complementary with human capital, but the effects of OC is not simply due to its correlation with technological change but has an independent role.

Suggested Citation

  • Eve Caroli & John Van Reenen, 2001. "Skill-Biased Organizational Change? Evidence from A Panel of British and French Establishments," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1449-1492.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:116:y:2001:i:4:p:1449-1492.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1162/003355301753265624
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    JEL classification:

    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights

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