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

Author

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  • 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)

  • Eve Caroli

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

  • 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'Éducation 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. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Bauer, Thomas K. & Bender, Stefan, 2004. "Technological change, organizational change, and job turnover," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 265-291, June.
    6. 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.
    7. Bassanini, Andrea & Booth, Alison L. & Brunello, Giorgio & De Paola, Maria & Leuven, Edwin, 2005. "Workplace Training in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 1640, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. 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. 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. 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.
    5. Luc Behaghel & Julie Moschion, 2011. "Skilled labor supply, IT-based technical change and job instability," Working Papers halshs-00646595, HAL.
    6. 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.
    7. 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

    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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