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Employment Protection, Technology Choice, And Worker Allocation

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  • Eric J. Bartelsman
  • Pieter A. Gautier
  • Joris Wind

Abstract

We show empirically that high‐risk sectors, which contribute strongly to aggregate productivity growth, are relatively small and have relatively low productivity growth in countries with strict employment protection legislation (EPL). To understand these findings, we develop a two‐sector matching model where firms endogenously choose between a safe technology and a risky technology. For firms that have chosen the risky technology, EPL raises the costs of shedding workers in case they receive a low productivity draw. According to our calibrated model, high‐EPL countries benefit less from the arrival of new risky technologies than low‐EPL countries. Parameters estimated through reduced‐form regressions of employment and productivity on exit costs, riskiness, and in particular their interaction are qualitatively similar for actual cross‐country data and simulated model data. Our model is consistent with the slowdown in productivity in the European Union relative to the United States since the mid‐1990s.

Suggested Citation

  • Eric J. Bartelsman & Pieter A. Gautier & Joris Wind, 2016. "Employment Protection, Technology Choice, And Worker Allocation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 57, pages 787-826, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:iecrev:v:57:y:2016:i::p:787-826
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/iere.12176
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Cette Gilbert & Lopez Jimmy & Mairesse Jacques, 2017. "Employment protection legislation impacts on capital and skill composition," Working Papers 2017-57, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
    2. Bassanini, Andrea & Garnero, Andrea, 2013. "Dismissal protection and worker flows in OECD countries: Evidence from cross-country/cross-industry data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 25-41.
    3. Marco Pagano & Luca Picariello, 2017. "Talent Discovery, Layoff Risk and Unemployment Insurance," EIEF Working Papers Series 1710, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Aug 2017.
    4. N. N., 2015. "WIFO-Monatsberichte, issue 11/2015," WIFO Monatsberichte (monthly reports), WIFO, vol. 88(11), November.
    5. Jo Ritzen & Klaus Zimmermann, 2014. "A vibrant European labor market with full employment," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-24, December.
    6. Alessandra Bonfiglioli & Gino Gancia, 2013. "Heterogeneity, selection and labor market disparities," Economics Working Papers 1402, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Nov 2016.
    7. Hendrik Dalen & Kène Henkens, 2013. "Dilemmas of Downsizing During the Great Recession: Crisis Strategies of European Employers," De Economist, Springer, vol. 161(3), pages 307-329, September.
    8. Carlos Miguel Silva & Ana Paula Ribeiro, 2011. "The Impacts of Structural Changes in the Labor Market: a Comparative Statics Analysis Using Heterogeneous-agent Framework," CEF.UP Working Papers 1104, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    9. Chad Syverson, 2011. "What Determines Productivity?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(2), pages 326-365, June.
    10. Eric J. Bartelsman, 2010. "Searching for the sources of productivity from macro to micro and back," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(6), pages 1891-1917, December.
    11. Olivér KOVÁCS, 2013. "Black swans or creeping normalcy? – An attempt to a holistic crisis analysis," Eastern Journal of European Studies, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 4, pages 127-143, June.
    12. Eric Bartelsman & John Haltiwanger & Stefano Scarpetta, 2013. "Cross-Country Differences in Productivity: The Role of Allocation and Selection," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(1), pages 305-334, February.
    13. Martin Falk & Werner Hölzl & Harald Oberhofer, 2015. "The Importance of Firm-Level Data for Empirical Research and Economic Policy Consulting," WIFO Monatsberichte (monthly reports), WIFO, vol. 88(11), pages 845-857, November.
    14. Hyytinen, Ari & Maliranta, Mika, 2011. "Firm Lifecycles and External Restructuring," Discussion Papers 1253, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy

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