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Technology and Labor Regulations: Theory and Evidence

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  • Alberto Alesina
  • Michele Battisti
  • Joseph Zeira

Abstract

This paper shows that different labor market policies can lead to differences in technology across sectors in a model of labor saving technologies. Labor market regulations reduce the skill premium and as a result, if technologies are labor saving, countries with more stringent labor regulation, which are binding for low skilled workers, become less technologically advanced in their high-skilled sectors, and more technologically advanced in their low-skilled sectors. We then present data on capital output ratios, on estimated productivity levels and on patent creation, which support the predictions of our model.

Suggested Citation

  • Alberto Alesina & Michele Battisti & Joseph Zeira, 2015. "Technology and Labor Regulations: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 20841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20841
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    9. M. Battisti & M. Del Gatto & A. F. Gravina & C. F. Parmeter, 2021. "Robots versus labor skills: a complementarity/substitutability analysis," Working Paper CRENoS 202104, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
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    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J50 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - General
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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