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How Do Firing Costs Affect Innovation and Growth when Workers' Ability is Unknown? – Employment Protection as a Burden on a Firm's Screening Process

Listed author(s):
  • Berdugo, Binyamin
  • Hadad, Sharon

This paper analyzes the implication of employment protection legislation on a firm's screening process. We present a model in which human-capital-intensive firms (high-tech) with imperfect information about their workers' type attempt during a trial period to identify those incompetent workers who they will subsequently dismiss. Employment protection measures, however, place a burden on this screening process and thereby motivate innovators to embark on medium-tech projects which are more flexible in their human capital requirements. Employment protection legislation thereby distorts the pattern of specialization in favor of medium-tech firms rather than high-tech firms and consequently slows down the process of economic growth. The results of the paper are consistent with documented data on Europe versus US productivity growth and specialization patterns as well as with employment protection legislation in those economies.

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File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/11410/1/MPRA_paper_11410.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 11410.

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Date of creation: Aug 2008
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:11410
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  1. Joseph Zeira, 1998. "Workers, Machines, and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1091-1117.
  2. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth through Creative Destruction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 323-351, March.
  3. Susanto Basu & David N. Weil, 1998. "Appropriate Technology and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1025-1054.
  4. Alberto Alesina & Joseph Zeira, 2006. "Technology and Labor Regulations," NBER Working Papers 12581, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1991. "Quality Ladders in the Theory of Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 43-61.
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  7. Bertola, Giuseppe, 1992. "Labor Turnover Costs and Average Labor Demand," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(4), pages 389-411, October.
  8. 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.
  9. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2002. "Reversal of Fortune: Geography and Institutions in the Making of the Modern World Income Distribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1231-1294.
  10. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Why Did the West Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Inequality, and Growth in Historical Perspective," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1167-1199.
  11. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1997. "Is labour rigidity harming Europe's competitiveness? The effect of job protection on the pattern of trade and welfare," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 499-506, April.
  12. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2002. "Employment protection, international specialization, and innovation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 375-395, February.
  13. Gust, Christopher & Marquez, Jaime, 2004. "International comparisons of productivity growth: the role of information technology and regulatory practices," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 33-58, February.
  14. Oded Galor & Omer Moav & Dietrich Vollrath, 2009. "Inequality in Landownership, the Emergence of Human-Capital Promoting Institutions, and the Great Divergence," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(1), pages 143-179.
  15. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
  16. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1991. "Quality Ladders and Product Cycles," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 557-586.
  17. Parente, Stephen L & Prescott, Edward C, 1994. "Barriers to Technology Adoption and Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(2), pages 298-321, April.
  18. 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.
  19. Oded Galor & Andrew Mountford, 2008. "Trading Population for Productivity: Theory and Evidence," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(4), pages 1143-1179.
  20. Atkinson, Anthony B & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1969. "A New View of Technological Change," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 79(315), pages 573-578, September.
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