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Information and Communication Technologies and Skill Upgrading: the Role of Internal vs External Labour Markets

Author

Listed:
  • Luc Behaghel

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics)

  • Eve Caroli

    () (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics, LEDa - Laboratoire d'Economie de Dauphine - Université Paris-Dauphine)

  • Emmanuelle Walkowiak

    (ERUDITE - Equipe de Recherche sur l’Utilisation des Données Individuelles en lien avec la Théorie Economique - UPEM - Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée - UPEC UP12 - Université Paris-Est Créteil Val-de-Marne - Paris 12, CEE - Centre d'études de l'emploi - M.E.N.E.S.R. - Ministère de l'Éducation nationale, de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche - Ministère du Travail, de l'Emploi et de la Santé)

Abstract

ollowing the adoption of information and communication technologies (ICT), firms may react to increasing skill requirements either by training or hiring the new skills, or a combination of the two.Using matched datasets with about 1,000 French plants, we assess the relative importance of these external and internal labour market strategies. We show that skill upgrading following technological and organisational changes takes place mostly through internal labour markets adjustments. Consistently with the results in the literature, we find that the intensive use of ICT is associated with an upward shift in the occupational structure within firms. We show that about one third of the upgrading of the occupational structure is due to hiring and firing workers from and to the external labour market, whereas two-thirds are due to promotions. Moreover, we find no compelling evidence of external labour market strategies based on "excess turnover". In contrast, French firms heavily rely on training in order to upgrade the skill level of their workforce. When looking at potential heterogeneity across firms in skill upgrading strategies, we find that all firms rely much more on promotions than on external movements in order to shift their occupational structure upward. In contrast, different training patterns are found across sectors : the use of ICT is strongly correlated with training for all occupational groups in manufacturing sectors, whereas this is not the case in services. This difference is robust to controlling for other sources of heterogeneity and may be explained by the fact that labour turnover is much higher in services than in manufacturing.

Suggested Citation

  • Luc Behaghel & Eve Caroli & Emmanuelle Walkowiak, 2012. "Information and Communication Technologies and Skill Upgrading: the Role of Internal vs External Labour Markets," PSE - Labex "OSE-Ouvrir la Science Economique" halshs-00754524, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:pseose:halshs-00754524
    DOI: 10.1093/oep/gpr045
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal-pjse.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00754524
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alexandra Spitz-Oener, 2006. "Technical Change, Job Tasks, and Rising Educational Demands: Looking outside the Wage Structure," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(2), pages 235-270, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Behaghel, Luc & Lorenceau, Adrien & Quantin, Simon, 2015. "Replacing churches and mason lodges? Tax exemptions and rural development," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 1-15.
    2. Fibla Gasparín, Ma. Teresa, 2010. "Staffing strategies in SME's: determinants of external recruitment and internal promotion," Working Papers 2072/179603, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
    3. Luc Behaghel & Julie Moschion, 2011. "Skilled labor supply, IT-based technical change and job instability," PSE Working Papers halshs-00646595, HAL.
    4. Luc Behaghel & Julie Moschion, 2011. "Skilled labor supply, IT-based technical change and job instability," Working Papers halshs-00646595, HAL.
    5. Garcia-Canal, Esteban & Rialp-Criado, Alex & Rialp-Criado, Josep, 2013. "Speed of ICT integration strategies in absorptions: Insights from a qualitative study," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 295-307.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Internal labour markets; Training; Skill bias; Labour turnover; Technical change;

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts

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