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Collective Dismissal Cost, Product Market Competition and Innovation


  • Koeniger, Winfried

    () (University of St. Gallen)


Collective dismissal costs are an important part of employment protection legislation (EPL) and make firms' exit more costly. We show in a model with step-by-step innovations that dismissal costs spur innovation if product markets are not too competitive: technologically more advanced firms endogenously exit with smaller probability so that there is a dynamic incentive to innovate. But dismissal costs decrease the absolute value of firms and induce exit. These opposite effects and their dependence on the policy mix of EPL and product market regulation explain why empirical studies have difficulties to find a negative effect of EPL on innovation.

Suggested Citation

  • Koeniger, Winfried, 2003. "Collective Dismissal Cost, Product Market Competition and Innovation," IZA Discussion Papers 888, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp888

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Giulio Fella, 2000. "Investment in General Training with Consensual Layoffs," Working Papers 418, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
    2. Philippe Aghion & Nick Bloom & Richard Blundell & Rachel Griffith & Peter Howitt, 2005. "Competition and Innovation: an Inverted-U Relationship," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(2), pages 701-728.
    3. Andrea Bassanini & Ekkehard Ernst, 2002. "Labour market regulation, industrial relations and technological regimes: a tale of comparative advantage," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(3), pages 391-426, June.
    4. Steven Casper & Henrik Glimstedt, 2001. "Economic Organization, Innovation Systems, and the Internet," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(2), pages 265-281, Summer.
    5. Andrea Bassanini & Ekkehard Ernst, 2002. "Labour Market Institutions, Product Market Regulation, and Innovation: Cross-Country Evidence," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 316, OECD Publishing.
    6. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2002. "Employment protection, international specialization, and innovation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 375-395, February.
    7. Levine, David I, 1991. "Just-Cause Employment Policies in the Presence of Worker Adverse Selection," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(3), pages 294-305, July.
    8. Nickell, Stephen, 1999. "Product markets and labour markets1," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 1-20, March.
    9. Philippe Aghion & Christopher Harris & Peter Howitt & John Vickers, 2001. "Competition, Imitation and Growth with Step-by-Step Innovation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(3), pages 467-492.
    10. Aghion, Philippe & Harris, Christopher & Vickers, John, 1997. "Competition and growth with step-by-step innovation: An example," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 771-782, April.
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    More about this item


    Schumpeterian growth; employment protection legislation; step-by-step innovations; exit cost;

    JEL classification:

    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings
    • L16 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Industrial Organization and Macroeconomics; Macroeconomic Industrial Structure
    • 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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