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Employment, innovation and productivity: evidence from Italian microdata

  • Bronwyn Hall


    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of California, Berkeley)

  • Francesca Lotti

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Jacques Mairesse

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

Italian manufacturing firms have been losing ground with respect to many of their European competitors. This paper presents some empirical evidence on the effects of innovation on employment growth and therefore on firms' productivity with the goal of understanding the roots of such poor performance. We use firm level data from the last three surveys on Italian manufacturing firms conducted by Mediocredito- Capitalia, which cover the period 1995-2003. Using a modified version of the model proposed by Harrison, Jaumandreu, Mairesse and Peters (2005), which separates employment growth rates into those associated with old and new products, we provide robust evidence that there is no employment displacement effect stemming from process innovation. The sources of employment growth during the period are split equally between the net contribution of product innovation and the net contribution from sales growth of old products. However, the contribution of product innovation is somewhat lower than that for the four comparison European countries considered by Harrison et al.

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Paper provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its series IFS Working Papers with number W06/24.

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Length: 40 pp.
Date of creation: Nov 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:06/24
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  1. David Blanchflower & Simon Burgess, 1996. "New Technology and Jobs: Comparative Evidence from a Two Country Study," CEP Discussion Papers dp0285, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. Van Reenen, John, 1997. "Employment and Technological Innovation: Evidence from U.K. Manufacturing Firms," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(2), pages 255-84, April.
  3. Brouwer, Erik & Kleinknecht, Alfred & Reijnen, Jeroen O N, 1993. "Employment Growth and Innovation at the Firm Level," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 153-59, May.
  4. Harrison, Rupert & Jaumandreu, Jordi & Mairesse, Jacques & Peters, Bettina, 2005. "Does innovation stimulate employment? A firm-level analysis using comparable micro data on four European countries," MPRA Paper 1245, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Stefan Lachenmaier & Horst Rottmann, 2007. "Employment Effects of Innovation at the Firm Level," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 227(3), pages 254-272, June.
  6. Nathalie Greenan & Dominique Guellec, 2000. "Technological Innovation and Employment Reallocation," Post-Print halshs-01133206, HAL.
  7. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Productivity and R&D at the Firm Level," NBER Chapters, in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 100-133 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Zimmermann, Klaus F, 1991. "The Employment Consequences of Technological Advance, Demand and Labor Costs in 16 German Industries," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 253-66.
  9. Mariacristina Piva & Marco Vivarelli, 2005. "Innovation and Employment: Evidence from Italian Microdata," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 86(1), pages 65-83, October.
  10. Blechinger, Doris & Kleinknecht, Alfred & Licht, Georg & Pfeiffer, Friedhelm, 1998. "The impact of innovation on employment in Europe: An analysis using CIS data," ZEW Dokumentationen 98-02, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  11. Zvi Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1981. "Productivity and R and D at the Firm Level," NBER Working Papers 0826, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Francesca Lotti & Fabiano Schivardi, 2005. "Cross Country Differences in Patent Propensity: A Firm-Level Investigation," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 64(4), pages 469-502, December.
  13. Bettina Peters, 2005. "Employment Effects of Different Innovation Activities: Microeconometric Evidence," Development and Comp Systems 0504002, EconWPA.
  14. Browyn Hall & Francis Kramakz, 1998. "Effects Of Technology And Innovation On Firm Performance, Employment, And Wages," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(2-4), pages 99-108.
  15. Doms, Mark & Dunne, Timothy & Roberts, Mark J., 1995. "The role of technology use in the survival and growth of manufacturing plants," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 523-542, December.
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