R&D and Innovation Activities and the Use of External Numerical Flexibility
We study the impact of R&D and innovation on the use of external numerical flexibility (ENF). R&D and innovation imply both a higher average and a higher volatile productivity. We investigate this ambiguous effect on the firm preference for using ENF in two steps. First, we use a simple model to show that a first-order stochastic dominance shift in the distribution function increases the probability of hiring permanent workers, while a second-order shift has ambiguous effects. Next, using a dataset based on a survey of Italian manufacturing firms, we run logit regressions to estimate the effect of R&D and innovation on the probability of employing a fixed-term or a TWA worker, finding a positive and always significant effect. We also consider internal and external R&D and different types of innovation. Results show that the former has a positive effect while the latter depends on the type of innovation.
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