Micro-mechanisms behind Declining Labor Shares: Rising Market Power and Changing Modes of Production
International Journal of Industrial Organization,
I derive a micro-founded framework showing how rising firm market power on product and labor markets and falling aggregate labor output elasticities provide three competing explanations for falling labor shares. I apply my framework to 20 years of German manufacturing sector micro data containing firm-specific price information to study these three distinct drivers of declining labor shares. I document a severe increase in firms’ labor market power, whereas firms’ product market power stayed comparably low. Changes in firm market power and a falling aggregate labor output elasticity each account for one half of the decline in labor's share.
Globalisation, Productivity Growth, and Labour Compensation
IWH Discussion Papers,
Since the onset of globalisation, production activities have become increasingly fragmented and organised in global value chains (GVC). These networks facilitate trade in intermediaries across industrial sectors and countries and change the conditions for policies to respond to shocks. In this paper, we contribute to the understanding of the effects of GVC on productivity and labour shares in advanced and emerging economies. As indicators for globalisation we use the foreign share in intermediate inputs and the foreign share in value added, extracted from international input output tables. Estimates based on local projections reveal a positive relationship between globalisation and productivity. Moreover, we are able to reject the hypothesis that a higher degree of international integration in country-industry pairs is negatively associated with the change in the labour share for advanced countries.
War drives up energy prices ‒ High inflation weighs on economy Supply bottlenecks weigh on the manufacturing sector,...
Benchmarking New Zealand's Frontier Firms
IWH-CompNet Discussion Papers,
New Zealand has experienced poor productivity performance over the last two decades. Factors often cited as reasons behind this are the small size of the domestic market and distance to international partners and markets. While the distance reason is one that is fairly insurmountable, there are a number of other small advanced economies that also face similar domestic market constraints. This study compares the relative performance of New Zealand’s firms to those economies using novel cross-country microdata from CompNet. We present stylised facts for New Zealand relative to the economies of Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands and Sweden based on average productivity levels, as well as benchmarking laggard, median and frontier firms. This research also employs an analytical framework of technology diffusion to evaluate the extent of productivity convergence, and the impact of the productivity frontier on non-frontier firm performance. Additionally, both labour and capital resource allocation are compared between New Zealand and the other small advanced economies. Results show that New Zealand’s firms have comparatively low productivity levels and that its frontier firms are not benefiting from the diffusion of best technologies outside the nation. Furthermore, there is evidence of labour misallocation in New Zealand based on less labour-productive firms having disproportionally larger employment shares than their more productive counterparts. Counter-factual analysis illustrates that improving both technology diffusion from abroad toward New Zealand’s frontier firms, and labour allocation across firms within New Zealand will see sizable productivity gains in New Zealand.
Competition, Cost Structure, and Labour Leverage: Evidence from the U.S. Airline Industry
IWH Discussion Papers,
I study the effect of increasing competition on financial performance through labour leverage. To capture competition, I exploit variation in product market contestability in the U.S. airline industry. First, I find that increasing competitive pressure leads to increasing labour leverage, proxied by labour share. This explains the decrease in operating profitability through labour rigidities. Second, by exploiting variation in human capital specificity, I show that contestability of product markets induces labour market contestability. Whereas affected firms might experience more stress through higher wages or loss of skilled human capital, more mobile employee groups benefit from competitions through higher labour shares.
Info Graphs Sometimes pictures say more than a thousand words. Therefore, we selected...
Fehlende Fachkräfte in Deutschland – Unterschiede in den Betrieben und mögliche Erklärungsfaktoren: Ergebnisse aus dem IAB-Betriebspanel 2018
In the years after the economic crisis, the economic situation of establishments in West and East Germany has improved steadily. At the same time, increased labor market dynamics and a positive trend in total employment can be observed. Also the demand for skilled employees reached a new high of 2.7 million in 2018. Only about 60 percent of the demand could be covered, which is also reflected in a further increase of the so-called non-occupancy quota. With regard to the distribution of this indicator for skilled labor shortages, we observe clear sector- and size-specific differences as well as regional heterogeneity. The quota is particularly high in the construction industry and in agriculture and forestry, with more than half the positions left vacant. A positive correlation between shortages of skilled labor and the use of temporary work, flexible working hours and investments in vocational training and further education is assessed in a multivariate analysis. The structure of formal occupational skill requirements did not change very much over recent years. However, a clear trend towards more flexible work organization can be observed. For example, about one quarter of the establishments offer teleworking. The share of part-time employment is also increasing nationwide, especially in sectors with a higher proportion of women, such as the service industries or the public sector. The share of marginal employment is particularly high in sectors that are characterized by cyclical and/or seasonal demand fluctuations or comparatively unspecific skill requirements – and above-average shortages of skilled labor. In 2018, the proportion of establishments authorized to provide in-house vocational training rose for the first time since 2010 – to 54 percent in Germany. In Eastern Germany, the share is significantly lower at 49 percent. The proportion of authorized establishments that actually train apprentices has been relatively stable at around 50 percent for several years. Both successfully occupied and vacant apprenticeships are distributed very heterogeneously across sectors. The recruitment rate of successful graduates is about three quarters. In establishments with skilled labor shortages, both the training rate and the graduate hiring rate are higher, suggesting that vocational training is already used here as an alternative strategy for recruiting skilled employees. The share of establishments supporting further education of their employees remains stable at about fifty percent for several years, and the proportion of employees participating in training is still about one third. A comparatively higher rate of further education among unskilled employees in establishments with skilled labor shortages indicates that internal resources are being increasingly used here to meet the demand for skilled employees.
IWH-CompNet Discussion Papers
IWH-CompNet Discussion Papers The IWH-CompNet Discussion Paper series presents research...
Lohnunterschiede zwischen Betrieben in Ost- und Westdeutschland: Ausmaß und mögliche Erklärungsfaktoren. Ergebnisse aus dem IAB-Betriebspanel 2017
The economic situation in German establishments improved even further in 2017. The development of wages, however, reflects this economic growth only partly. Compared to 1997, the wage differential between large and small establishments increased considerably – with substantially lower wages paid in East Germany in general. The wage differential of about 19 percent between East and West Germany can to some extent be explained in a multivariate analysis (Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition) showing that the main cause for the wage gap is the productivity gap between East German and West German establishments; other structural heterogeneities like sector composition, industrial relations and size structure seem not to contribute to an explanation of this gap. The overall positive economic development in Germany is associated with a further growth in total employment and with increased labor market dynamics, especially regarding employee turnover. Turnover rates, however, are very heterogeneous among sectors, ranging from 23 percent in the accommodation and food service sector and less than five percent in public administration. Also the demand for skilled personnel continued to grow. Yet for the first time, not even two thirds of the posted job vacancies could be filled in 2017. With over fifty percent, this non-occupancy quota is particularly high in the construction industry. Also small and very small establishments face serious recruitment problems. The structure of formal occupational skill requirements did not change very much over recent years, but the increasing use of digital technologies changes everyday job requirements and may lead to a rising workload for employees. Looking at the personnel structure in the German economy, a growing share of atypical employment becomes apparent, especially in form of part-time jobs. The proportion of marginal employment remains relatively stable and is comparatively high in sectors with less specific knowledge requirements and strong cyclical and/or seasonal fluctuations like is the case in accommodation and food service sector or personal services sector. Since 2010, the proportion of establishments authorized to provide in-company vocational training has declined constantly and now accounts for 53 percent of the establishments in Germany. About one half of these establishments do actually train apprentices. The share of vacant apprenticeships further increased in 2017 to about one quarter of all apprenticeships offered, in East Germany even to more than one third. As in recent years, the share of establishments supporting further training of their employees remained stable at about fifty percent and the proportion of employees participating in training is still about one third. In East Germany these figures prove to be slightly higher.