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Assessing the impact of skill shortages on the productivity performance of high-tech firms in Northern Ireland

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  • Jessica Bennett
  • Seamus McGuinness

Abstract

This article utilizes data from three separate skill related surveys of firms in the Northern Ireland IT, Electronic Engineering and Mechanical Engineering industries in order to assess the extent to which the performance of high-tech firms are being constrained as a result of hard-to-fill and/or unfilled vacancies. Whist it was found that the determinants of skill shortage varied somewhat depending upon the definitional approach adopted, a high degree of correlation was found. With regards to the impacts of skill shortages on firm level performance, it was found that both hard-to-fill and unfilled vacancies had reduced output per worker levels by between 65 and 75% in affected firms, however, these impacts were only detecw after controlling for selection effects. The evidence suggests that standard OLS procedures can generate highly misleading results in studies of this nature.

Suggested Citation

  • Jessica Bennett & Seamus McGuinness, 2009. "Assessing the impact of skill shortages on the productivity performance of high-tech firms in Northern Ireland," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(6), pages 727-737.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:41:y:2009:i:6:p:727-737
    DOI: 10.1080/00036840601007450
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. John Forth, 2004. "The Impact of High-Level Skill Shortages on Firm-Level Performance: Evidence from the UK Technical Graduate Labour Market," National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) Discussion Papers 235, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
    2. Dickerson, Andy, 2003. "The Distribution and Determinants of Job Vacancies: Evidence From the 2001 Employers Skill Survey," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 63, Royal Economic Society.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mok, Penny & Mason, Geoff & Stevens, Philip & Timmins, Jason, 2012. "A Good Worker is Hard to Find: Skills Shortages in New Zealand Firms," Occasional Papers 12/5, Ministry of Economic Development, New Zealand.
    2. Peter Cappelli, 2014. "Skill Gaps, Skill Shortages and Skill Mismatches: Evidence for the US," NBER Working Papers 20382, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Martin Guzi & Martin Kahanec & Lucia Mýtna Kureková, 2018. "How Immigration Grease Is Affected by Economic, Institutional, and Policy Contexts: Evidence from EU Labor Markets," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(2), pages 213-243, May.
    4. Antoni, Manfred & Janser, Markus & Lehmer, Florian, 2015. "The hidden winners of renewable energy promotion: Insights into sector-specific wage differentials," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 595-613.
    5. McGuinness, Seamus & Pouliakas, Konstantinos & Redmond, Paul, 2017. "How Useful Is the Concept of Skills Mismatch?," IZA Discussion Papers 10786, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Sharma, Kishor & Oczkowski, Edward & Hicks, John, 2016. "Skill shortages in regional Australia: A local perspective from the Riverina," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 34-44.
    7. Ulceluse, Magdalena, 2018. "Self-employment as a stepping stone to better labour market matching: a comparison between immigrants and natives," GLO Discussion Paper Series 219, Global Labor Organization (GLO).

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