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Skills, human capital and the plant productivity gap: UK evidence from matched plant, worker and workforce data


  • Haskel, Jonathan
  • Hawkes, Denise
  • Pereira, Sonia


Using two matched plant level skills and productivity datasets for UK manufacturing we document that (i) more productive firms hire more skilled workers: in 2000, plants at the top decile of the TFP distribution (controlling for their four-digit industry) hired workers with, on average, around 1/3rd of a year of additional schooling compared to firms in the bottom decile and (ii) in an accounting sense the skills gap between the firms in the top and bottom deciles of the TFP distribution accounts for 3 to 10% of the TFP gap depending on the specification used.

Suggested Citation

  • Haskel, Jonathan & Hawkes, Denise & Pereira, Sonia, 2005. "Skills, human capital and the plant productivity gap: UK evidence from matched plant, worker and workforce data," CEPR Discussion Papers 5334, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5334

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Mikael Lindahl & Alan B. Krueger, 2001. "Education for Growth: Why and for Whom?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1101-1136, December.
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    5. Richard Disney & Jonathan Haskel & Ylva Heden, 2003. "Restructuring and productivity growth in uk manufacturing," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(489), pages 666-694, July.
    6. John M. Abowd & John Haltiwanger & Ron Jarmin & Julia Lane & Paul Lengermann & Kristin McCue & Kevin McKinney & Kristin Sandusky, 2005. "The Relation among Human Capital, Productivity, and Market Value: Building Up from Micro Evidence," NBER Chapters,in: Measuring Capital in the New Economy, pages 153-204 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    10. Haskel, Jonathan, Sonia Pereira, 2003. "Skills and productivity in the UK using matched establishment and worker data," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 100, Royal Economic Society.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bartelsman, Eric & Dobbelaere, Sabien & Peters, Bettina, 2013. "Allocation of Human Capital and Innovation at the Frontier: Firm-Level Evidence on Germany and the Netherlands," IZA Discussion Papers 7540, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. 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.
    3. Susana Iranzo & Fabiano Schivardi & Elisa Tosetti, 2008. "Skill Dispersion and Firm Productivity: An Analysis with Employer-Employee Matched Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 247-285, April.
    4. Fix, Blair, 2017. "Evidence for a Power Theory of Personal Income Distribution," Working Papers on Capital as Power 2017/03, Capital As Power - Toward a New Cosmology of Capitalism.
    5. Håkanson, Christina & Lindqvist, Erik & Vlachos, Jonas, 2015. "Firms and Skills: The Evolution of Worker Sorting," Working Paper Series 1072, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    6. Fibla Gasparín, Ma. Teresa, 2010. "Productivity in southern European small firms: When and how work organization complements process innovation," Working Papers 2072/179600, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
    7. Galindo-Rueda, Fernando & Haskel, Jonathan, 2005. "Skills, Workforce Characteristics and Firm-Level Productivity: Evidence from the Matched ABI/Employer Skills Survey," IZA Discussion Papers 1542, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Navon, Guy, 2009. "Human Capital Spillovers in the Workplace: Labor Diversity and Productivity," MPRA Paper 17741, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Rene Söllner, 2010. "Product Diversification and Labor Productivity Dispersion in German Manufacturing Industries," Jena Economic Research Papers 2010-028, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    10. Michèle A. Weynandt, 2014. "Selective Firing and Lemons," NRN working papers 2014-05, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.

    More about this item


    productivity; skills;

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • L6 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing

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