IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp4895.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Employment Protection, Technology Choice, and Worker Allocation

Author

Listed:
  • Bartelsman, Eric

    () (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

  • Gautier, Pieter A.

    () (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

  • De Wind, Joris

    () (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

Abstract

Using a country-industry panel dataset (EUKLEMS) we uncover a robust empirical regularity, namely that high-risk innovative sectors are relatively smaller in countries with strict employment protection legislation (EPL). To understand the mechanism, we develop a two-sector matching model where firms endogenously choose between a safe technology with known productivity and a risky technology with productivity subject to sizeable shocks. Strict EPL makes the risky technology relatively less attractive because it is more costly to shed workers upon receiving a low productivity draw. We calibrate the model using a variety of aggregate, industry and micro-level data sources. We then simulate the model to reflect both the observed differences across countries in EPL and the observed increase since the mid-1990s in the variance of firm performance associated with the adoption of information and communication technology. The simulations produce a differential response to the arrival of risky technology between low- and high-EPL countries that coincides with the findings in the data. The described mechanism can explain a considerable portion of the slowdown in productivity in the EU relative to the US since 1995.

Suggested Citation

  • Bartelsman, Eric & Gautier, Pieter A. & De Wind, Joris, 2010. "Employment Protection, Technology Choice, and Worker Allocation," IZA Discussion Papers 4895, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4895
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp4895.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Andrea Bassanini & Luca Nunziata & Danielle Venn, 2009. "Job protection legislation and productivity growth in OECD countries [Appropriate growth policy: a unifying framework]," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 24(58), pages 349-402.
    2. Bertola, Giuseppe, 1990. "Job security, employment and wages," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 851-879, June.
    3. Marcus Hagedorn & Iourii Manovskii, 2008. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies Revisited," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1692-1706, September.
    4. Pieter A. Gautier & Coen N. Teulings, 2006. "How Large are Search Frictions?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(6), pages 1193-1225, December.
    5. Mortensen, Dale & Pissarides, Christopher, 2011. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 1, pages 1-19.
    6. Giuseppe Nicoletti & Stefano Scarpetta & Olivier Boylaud, 2000. "Summary Indicators of Product Market Regulation with an Extension to Employment Protection Legislation," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 226, OECD Publishing.
    7. Poschke, Markus, 2009. "Employment protection, firm selection, and growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1074-1085, November.
    8. Olivier J. Blanchard & Jean Tirole, 2008. "The Joint Design of Unemployment Insurance and Employment Protection: A First Pass," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(1), pages 45-77, March.
    9. Burda, Michael C, 1992. " A Note on Firing Costs and Severance Benefits in Equilibrium Unemployment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 94(3), pages 479-489.
    10. Pedro Portugal & Olivier Blanchard, 2001. "What Hides Behind an Unemployment Rate: Comparing Portuguese and U.S. Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 187-207, March.
    11. Haskel, Jonathan & Kersley, Barbara & Martin, Christopher, 1997. "Labour Market Flexibility and Employment Adjustment: Micro Evidence from UK Establishments," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(3), pages 362-379, July.
    12. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark & Gilchrist, Simon, 1996. "The Financial Accelerator and the Flight to Quality," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 1-15, February.
    13. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "Is the 2007 U.S. Sub-Prime Financial Crisis So Different? An International Historical Comparison," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 56(3), pages 291-299, September.
    14. Christopher Martin, "undated". "Evidence from UK Establishments," Economics and Finance Discussion Papers 98-07, Economics and Finance Section, School of Social Sciences, Brunel University.
    15. Acemoglu, Daron & Shimer, Robert, 2000. "Productivity gains from unemployment insurance," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 1195-1224, June.
    16. Edward P. Lazear, 1990. "Job Security Provisions and Employment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(3), pages 699-726.
    17. Samuel Bentolila & Giuseppe Bertola, 1990. "Firing Costs and Labour Demand: How Bad is Eurosclerosis?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(3), pages 381-402.
    18. Daron Acemoglu & Philippe Aghion & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2006. "Distance to Frontier, Selection, and Economic Growth," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(1), pages 37-74, March.
    19. repec:oup:ecpoli:v:21:y:2006:i:45:p:5-59 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Fernando Alvarez & Marcelo Veracierto, 2000. "Labor-Market Policies in an Equilibrium Search Model," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1999, Volume 14, pages 265-316, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. repec:hrv:faseco:30747190 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
    23. Rasmus Lentz & Dale T. Mortensen, 2008. "An Empirical Model of Growth Through Product Innovation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(6), pages 1317-1373, November.
    24. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2002. "Employment protection, international specialization, and innovation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 375-395, February.
    25. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, September.
    26. Nicholas Bloom & Raffaella Sadun & John Van Reenen, 2012. "Americans Do IT Better: US Multinationals and the Productivity Miracle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 167-201, February.
    27. John T. Addison & Paulino Teixeira, 2003. "The Economics of Employment Protection," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 24(1), pages 85-129, January.
    28. repec:oup:ecpoli:v:24:y:2009:i::p:349-402 is not listed on IDEAS
    29. Mary O'Mahony & Marcel P. Timmer, 2009. "Output, Input and Productivity Measures at the Industry Level: The EU KLEMS Database," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(538), pages 374-403, June.
    30. Hopenhayn, Hugo & Rogerson, Richard, 1993. "Job Turnover and Policy Evaluation: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(5), pages 915-938, October.
    31. Bart van Ark & Mary O'Mahoney & Marcel P. Timmer, 2008. "The Productivity Gap between Europe and the United States: Trends and Causes," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(1), pages 25-44, Winter.
    32. Roberto M. Samaniego, 2006. "Employment Protection and High-Tech Aversion," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(2), pages 224-241, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Michau, Jean-Baptiste, 2015. "Optimal labor market policy with search frictions and risk-averse workers," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 93-107.
    2. John Martin & Stefano Scarpetta, 2012. "Setting It Right: Employment Protection, Labour Reallocation and Productivity," De Economist, Springer, vol. 160(2), pages 89-116, June.
    3. Fella Giulio, 2012. "Matching, Wage Rigidities and Efficient Severance Pay," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-35, December.
    4. Moon, Weh-Sol, 2011. "Endogenous labor force participation and firing costs," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 607-623, October.
    5. Andrea Vindigni & Simone Scotti & Cristina Tealdi, 2015. "Uncertainty and the Politics of Employment Protection," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(1), pages 209-267.
    6. Ant Bozkaya & William R. Kerr, 2009. "Labor Regulations and European Private Equity," NBER Working Papers 15627, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Kim, Soojin & Rhee, Serena, 2018. "Measuring the effects of employment protection policies: Theory and evidence from the Americans with Disabilities Act," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 116-134.
    8. Etro, Federico, 2017. "Research in economics and macroeconomics," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 373-383.
    9. Andrea Bassanini & Luca Nunziata & Danielle Venn, 2009. "Job protection legislation and productivity growth in OECD countries [Appropriate growth policy: a unifying framework]," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 24(58), pages 349-402.
    10. Ahrens, Steffen & Wesselbaum, Dennis, 2009. "On the introduction of firing costs," Kiel Working Papers 1559, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    11. L'Haridon, Olivier & Malherbet, Franck, 2009. "Employment protection reform in search economies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 255-273, April.
    12. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2004. "Job protection laws and agency problems under asymmetric information," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(5), pages 1027-1046, October.
    13. Bart Hobijn & Ayşegül Şahin, 2013. "Firms And Flexibility," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(1), pages 922-940, January.
    14. Riccardo Tilli, 2015. "High speed and low speed structural reforms in the italian goods and labor market," QUADERNI DI ECONOMIA DEL LAVORO, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2015(103), pages 67-82.
    15. Kugler, Adriana & Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2000. "Hiring and Firing Costs, Adverse Selection and Long-term Unemployment," IZA Discussion Papers 134, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    16. Steinar Holden & Åsa Rosén, 2014. "Discrimination And Employment Protection," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(6), pages 1676-1699, December.
    17. Alain Delacroix & Etienne Wasmer, 2007. "Job and Workers Flows in Europe and the US: Specific Skills or Employment Protection?," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/9938, Sciences Po.
    18. Nadav Ben Zeev & Tomer Ifergane, 2019. "Employment Protection Legislation and Economic Resilience: Protect and Survive?," Working Papers 1910, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.
    19. Christian Keuschnigg & Thomas Davoine, 2010. "Flexicurity and Job Reallocation," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2010 2010-11, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
    20. Piccirilli, Giulio, 2015. "On the impact of firing costs under different wage setting regimes," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 86-99.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    employment protection legislation; exit costs; information and communications technology; heterogeneous productivity; sectoral allocation;

    JEL classification:

    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4895. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Holger Hinte). General contact details of provider: http://www.iza.org .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.