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Innovations, Wages and Demand for Heterogeneous Labour: New Evidence from a Matched Employer-Employee Data-Set


  • Bellmann, Lutz

    () (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg)

  • Schank, Thorsten

    () (University of Mainz)


This paper examines the impact of innovations and wages on the demand for heterogeneous labour. Based on matched data from the IAB-establishment panel survey and the files of the employment statistics register for the year 1995, input shares derived from a generalised Leontief cost function are estimated for six qualification groups (blue and white collar workers stratified into unskilled, skilled and highly-skilled employees) in the West German production industries. With the exception of highly skilled blue collar workers, innovations have a positive and significant effect on labour demand for all groups, with an estimated relative change of the conditional labour demand ranging between 3.2% and 6.3%. Between white collar workers as well as between unskilled and skilled blue collar workers, we find an increasing positive impact of innovations on labour demand with qualification level. Skilled and highly skilled employees are found to be substitutes for the unskilled. This result implies that more flexible wages of the unskilled would reduce the unemployment of this group. Finally, our data is not consistent with separability of blue-collar employees from white collar employees, there is weak evidence that skilled and highly skilled blue collar employees can be aggregated.

Suggested Citation

  • Bellmann, Lutz & Schank, Thorsten, 2000. "Innovations, Wages and Demand for Heterogeneous Labour: New Evidence from a Matched Employer-Employee Data-Set," IZA Discussion Papers 112, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp112

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Christensen, Laurits R & Jorgenson, Dale W & Lau, Lawrence J, 1973. "Transcendental Logarithmic Production Frontiers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 55(1), pages 28-45, February.
    2. Diewert, Walter E & Wales, Terence J, 1987. "Flexible Functional Forms and Global Curvature Conditions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 43-68, January.
    3. 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.
    4. Abowd, John M. & Kramarz, Francis, 1999. "The analysis of labor markets using matched employer-employee data," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 40, pages 2629-2710 Elsevier.
    5. Sunde, Uwe & Thalmaier, Anja & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 1999. "Arbeitsplätze für Geringqualifizierte," Wirtschaftsdienst – Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftspolitik (1949 - 2007), ZBW – German National Library of Economics / Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, vol. 79(12), pages 723-730.
    6. Blackorby, Charles & Primont, Daniel & Russell, R. Robert, 1977. "On testing separability restrictions with flexible functional forms," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 195-209, March.
    7. Diewert, W E, 1971. "An Application of the Shephard Duality Theorem: A Generalized Leontief Production Function," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(3), pages 481-507, May-June.
    8. Riphahn, Regina T. & Thalmaier, Anja & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 1999. "Report No. 2: Schaffung von Arbeitsplätzen für Geringqualifizierte," IZA Research Reports 2, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Denny, Michael & Fuss, Melvyn A, 1977. "The Use of Approximation Analysis to Test for Separability and the Existence of Consistent Aggregates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 404-418, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kölling, Arnd & Schank, Thorsten, 2002. "Skill-biased technological change, international trade and the wage structure," Discussion Papers 14, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
    2. Lichter, Andreas & Peichl, Andreas & Siegloch, Sebastian, 2015. "The own-wage elasticity of labor demand: A meta-regression analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 94-119.
    3. Dohmen, Thomas J., 2005. "Housing, mobility and unemployment," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 305-325, May.
    4. John Addison & Lutz Bellmann & Thorsten Schank & Paulino Teixeira, 2008. "The Demand for Labor: An Analysis Using Matched Employer–Employee Data from the German LIAB. Will the High Unskilled Worker Own-Wage Elasticity Please Stand Up?," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 114-137, June.
    5. Carsten Ochsen, 2006. "Zukunft der Arbeit und Arbeit der Zukunft in Deutschland," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 7(2), pages 173-193, May.
    6. Alda, Holger & Bender, Stefan & Gartner, Hermann, 2005. "The linked employer-employee dataset of the IAB (LIAB)," IAB Discussion Paper 200506, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].

    More about this item


    Demand for labor; labor costs; substitution; firm behavior; innovation;

    JEL classification:

    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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