IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Employment Protection, International Specialization, and Innovation


  • Saint-Paul, Gilles


This paper develops a model to analyse the implications of firing costs on incentives for R&D and international specialization. The key idea is that, to avoid paying firing costs, the country with a rigid labour market will tend to produce relatively secure goods, at late stages in their product life cycles. With international trade, an international product cycle emerges where, roughly, new goods are first produced in the low-firing cost country, and then move to the high-firing cost country. The paper shows that in the closed economy, an increase in firing costs does not necessarily imply a reduction in R&D; it crucially depends on the riskiness of R&D activity relative to productive activity. In the open economy, however, an increase in firing costs is much more likely to reduce R&D intensity.

Suggested Citation

  • Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1996. "Employment Protection, International Specialization, and Innovation," CEPR Discussion Papers 1338, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1338

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Cahuc, Pierre & Michel, Philippe, 1996. "Minimum wage unemployment and growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(7), pages 1463-1482, August.
    2. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1997. "Is labour rigidity harming Europe's competitiveness? The effect of job protection on the pattern of trade and welfare," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 499-506, April.
    3. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1992. "Gross Job Creation, Gross Job Destruction, and Employment Reallocation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(3), pages 819-863.
    4. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1996. "Are the unemployed unemployable?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(7), pages 1501-1519, August.
    5. Timothy Dunne & Mark J. Roberts & Larry Samuelson, 1989. "The Growth and Failure of U. S. Manufacturing Plants," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(4), pages 671-698.
    6. Hopenhayn, Hugo & Rogerson, Richard, 1993. "Job Turnover and Policy Evaluation: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(5), pages 915-938, October.
    7. Philippe Aghion & Peter Howitt, 1994. "Growth and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(3), pages 477-494.
    8. Nickell, Stephen & Layard, Richard, 1999. "Labor market institutions and economic performance," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 46, pages 3029-3084 Elsevier.
    9. Dale T. Mortensen & Christopher A. Pissarides, 1995. "Technological Progress," CEP Discussion Papers dp0264, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    10. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth through Creative Destruction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 323-351, March.
    11. Bertola, Giuseppe, 1994. "Flexibility, investment, and growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 215-238, October.
    12. Cohen, Daniel & Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1994. "Uneven technical process and job destructions," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9412, CEPREMAP.
    13. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1994. "Unemployment, wage rigidity, and the returns to education," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 535-543, April.
    14. Bean, Charles & Pissarides, Christopher, 1993. "Unemployment, consumption and growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 837-854, May.
    15. Francesco Daveri & Guido Tabellini, 2000. "Unemployment, growth and taxation in industrial countries," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 15(30), pages 47-104, April.
    16. Paul M. Romer, 1987. "Crazy Explanations for the Productivity Slowdown," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1987, Volume 2, pages 163-210 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
    18. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1996. "Research and Development in the Growth Process," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 49-73, March.
    19. Boone, Jan, 2000. "Technological Progress, Downsizing and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(465), pages 581-600, July.
    20. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1996. "Unemployment and increasing private returns to human capital," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 1-20, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Employment Protection; Firing Costs; Innovation; International Specialilzation; International Trade; Product Life Cycle; R&D;

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F17 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Forecasting and Simulation
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1338. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.