Innovation and Skill Upgrading: The Rôle of External vs Internal Labour Markets
Following technical and organisational changes, firms may react to increasing skillrequirements either by training (on the internal labour market) or hiring the new skills, or acombination of the two.Using matched datasets with about 1,000 French plants, we assess the role of these externaland internal labour market strategies. We show that skill upgrading following technologicaland organisational changes takes place mostly through internal labour markets adjustments,except for the adoption of the Internet which gives rise to both internal and external types ofadjustments. We then consider the determinants of the strategies used by individual firms: dosome firms mainly rely on one strategy while other firms prevalently choose another strategy,and why? We show that firms' size and localisation are critical in explaining such differences.Skill upgrading strategies relying on the external labour market seem to be prevalentlyadopted by small urban plants.
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