Labour Market Regulations and Capital Intensity

23 Pages Posted: 7 Sep 2016

See all articles by Gilbert Cette

Gilbert Cette

Banque de France

Jimmy Lopez

LEDi; Microeconomic and Structural Analysis Directorate

Jacques Mairesse

National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) - Center for Research in Economics and Statistics (CREST); Maastricht University - United Nations and Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (UNU-MERIT); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: September 2016

Abstract

On the basis of a country*industry unbalanced panel data sample for 14 OECD countries and 18 industries covering the years 1988 to 2007, this study proposes an econometric investigation of the effects of the OECD Employment Protection Legislation (EPL) indicator on capital intensity for four capital components, and on the share of employment for two skill components. Our results relying on a difference-in-difference approach are the following: i) positive and significant effects for non-ICT physical capital intensity and the share of high-skilled employment; ii) non-significant effects for ICT capital intensity; and (iii) negative and significant effects for R&D capital intensity and the share of low-skilled employment. These results suggest that firms consider that the strengthening of Employment Protection Legislation is equivalent to a rise in the cost of labor, resulting in capital-to-labor substitution in favor of non-ICT capital and working at the disadvantage of low-skill relatively to high-skill workers. They indicate to the contrary that structural reforms for more labor flexibility weakening this legislation could have a favorable impact on firms’ R&D investment and their hiring of low-skill workers.

Suggested Citation

Cette, Gilbert and Lopez, Jimmy and Mairesse, Jacques, Labour Market Regulations and Capital Intensity (September 2016). NBER Working Paper No. w22603. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2835861

Gilbert Cette (Contact Author)

Banque de France ( email )

Paris
France

Jimmy Lopez

LEDi ( email )

Boulevard Gabriel
Dijon, Bougogne 21000
France

Microeconomic and Structural Analysis Directorate ( email )

Paris
France

Jacques Mairesse

National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) - Center for Research in Economics and Statistics (CREST) ( email )

15 Boulevard Gabriel Peri
Malakoff Cedex, 1 92245
France

Maastricht University - United Nations and Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (UNU-MERIT)

Keizer Karelplein 19
6211 TC Maastricht
Netherlands

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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