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Innovation and skill upgrading: The role of external vs internal labour markets

Author

Listed:
  • Luc Behaghel

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics, LEA - Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquée - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, CREST - Centre de Recherche en Économie et Statistique - ENSAI - Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Analyse de l'Information [Bruz] - X - École polytechnique - ENSAE ParisTech - École Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Économique - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Eve Caroli

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

  • Emmanuelle Walkowiak

    () (LEO - Laboratoire d'économie d'Orleans - UO - Université d'Orléans - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CEE - Centre d'études de l'emploi - M.E.N.E.S.R. - Ministère de l'Education nationale, de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche - Ministère du Travail, de l'Emploi et de la Santé)

Abstract

Following technical and organisational changes, 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 new technologies and organisational changes are 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 on 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 splitting the sample across sectors, this pattern of results appears to be particularly strong for manufacturing firms whereas, in services, external labour market strategies tend to be more widespread. We then consider the determinants of the strategies chosen by firms. We argue that the relative cost of internal versus external labour market flexibility is likely to be critical and that it can be partly captured by firm size and by the density on the local labour market. We find that external labor market strategies tend to be more important when firms are located on high-density labor markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Luc Behaghel & Eve Caroli & Emmanuelle Walkowiak, 2008. "Innovation and skill upgrading: The role of external vs internal labour markets," PSE Working Papers halshs-00588316, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00588316
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00588316
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Sandra E. Black & Lisa M. Lynch, 2004. "What's driving the new economy?: the benefits of workplace innovation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(493), pages 97-116, February.
    2. Luc Behaghel & Nathalie Greenan, 2005. "Training and Age-Biased Technical Change : Evidence from French Micro Data," Working Papers 2005-06, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
    3. Neumark, David & Polsky, Daniel & Hansen, Daniel, 1999. "Has Job Stability Declined Yet? New Evidence for the 1990s," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages 29-64, October.
    4. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2003. "The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
    5. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2002. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization, and the Demand for Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 339-376.
    6. Emmanuelle Walkowiak, 2006. "Renouvellement de la main-d'œuvre et modernisation des entreprises," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 57(6), pages 1205-1233.
    7. Lisa M. Lynch & Sandra E. Black, 1998. "Beyond the Incidence of Employer-Provided Training," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 52(1), pages 64-81, October.
    8. Philippe Askenazy & Eva Moreno Galbis, 2007. "The Impact of Technological and Organizational Changes on Labor Flows. Evidence on French Establishments," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 21(2), pages 265-301, June.
    9. Luc Behaghel & Nathalie Greenan, 2010. "Training and Age-Biased Technical Change," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 99-100, pages 317-342.
    10. Jacob Mincer, 1989. "Human Capital Responses to Technological Change in the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 3207, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Bauer, Thomas K. & Bender, Stefan, 2004. "Technological change, organizational change, and job turnover," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 265-291, June.
    12. John M. Abowd & Patrick Corbel & Francis Kramarz, 1999. "The Entry And Exit Of Workers And The Growth Of Employment: An Analysis Of French Establishments," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 170-187, May.
    13. repec:dau:papers:123456789/10093 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Patrick Aubert & Eve Caroli & Muriel Roger, 2006. "New technologies, organisation and age: firm-level evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(509), pages 73-93, February.
    15. Marianne Bertrand, 2004. "From the Invisible Handshake to the Invisible Hand? How Import Competition Changes the Employment Relationship," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(4), pages 723-766, October.
    16. repec:dau:papers:123456789/10051 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Bassanini, Andrea & Booth, Alison L. & Brunello, Giorgio & De Paola, Maria & Leuven, Edwin, 2005. "Workplace Training in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 1640, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    18. 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.
    19. Eve Caroli & John Van Reenen, 2001. "Skill-Biased Organizational Change? Evidence from A Panel of British and French Establishments," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1449-1492.
    20. Luc Behaghel & Fabien Postel-Vinay, 2003. "Insécurité de l'emploi : le rôle protecteur de l'ancienneté a-t-il baissé en France ? Suivi d'un commentaire de Fabien Postel-Vinay," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 366(1), pages 3-29.
    21. Philippe Zamora, 2006. "Changements organisationnels, technologiques et recours à la formation dans les entreprises industrielles," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 57(6), pages 1235-1257.
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    Cited by:

    1. Batut, Cyprien & Maurin, Eric, 2019. "From Ultima Ratio to Mutual Consent: The Effects of Changing Employment Protection Doctrine," IZA Discussion Papers 12440, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Antonioli, Davide & Manzalini, Rocco & Pini, Paolo, 2011. "Innovation, workers skills and industrial relations: Empirical evidence from firm-level Italian data," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 312-326, May.
    3. Philippe Askenazy & Julien Grenet, 2009. "Les managers français connaissent-ils leurs entreprises ? Les leçons de l’enquête REPONSE," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 421(1), pages 53-82.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    technical and organisational change; turnover; skill bias; training; internal labour markets;

    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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