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Technological catching-up, sales dynamics and employment growth: evidence from China’s manufacturing firms

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  • Dosi, Giovanni
  • Yu, Xiaodan

Abstract

This paper investigates the microeconomics of employment dynamics, using a Chinese manufacturing firm-level dataset over the period 1998-2007. It does so in the light of a scheme of “circular and cumulative causation”, whereby firms’ heterogeneous productivity gains and sales dynamics, and innovation activities ultimately shape the patterns of employment dynamics. Using firm’s productivity growth as a proxy for process innovation, our results show that the latter correlates negatively with firm-level employment growth. Conversely, relative productivity levels, as such a general proxy for the broad technological advantages/disadvantages of each firm, do show positive effect on employment growth in the long-run through replicator-type dynamics. Moreover, firm-level demand dynamics play a significant role in driving employment growth, which more than compensate the labour-saving effect due to technological progress. Finally, and somewhat puzzlingly, the direct effects of product innovation and patenting activities on employment growth appear to be negligible.

Suggested Citation

  • Dosi, Giovanni & Yu, Xiaodan, 2018. "Technological catching-up, sales dynamics and employment growth: evidence from China’s manufacturing firms," GLO Discussion Paper Series 177, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:177
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Giovanni Dosi & Maria Enrica Virgillito, 2019. "Whither the evolution of the contemporary social fabric? New technologies and old socio-economic trends," LEM Papers Series 2019/02, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Employment Growth; Demand; Product Innovation; Process Innovation; Export; China catching-up;

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: 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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