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Competition and innovation‐driven inclusive growth

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Abstract:

We investigate the strength of innovation‐driven employment growth, the role of competition in stimulating and facilitating it, and whether it is inclusive. In a sample of over 26 000 manufacturing establishments across 71 countries (both OECD and developing), we find that firms that innovate in products or processes, or that have attained higher total factor productivity, exhibit higher employment growth than non‐innovative firms. The strength of firms' innovation‐driven employment growth is significantly positively associated with the share of the firms' workforce that is unskilled, debunking the conventional wisdom that innovation‐driven growth is not inclusive in that it is focused on jobs characterized by higher levels of qualification. We also find that young firms have higher propensities for product or process innovation in countries with better Doing Business ranks (both overall and ranks for constituent components focused on credit availability and property registration). Firms generally innovate more and show greater employment growth if they are exposed to more information (through Internet use and membership in business organisations) and are exporters. The empirical results support the policy propositions that innovation is a powerful driver of employment growth, that innovation‐driven growth is inclusive in its creation of unskilled jobs, and that the underlying innovations are fostered by a pro‐competitive business environment providing ready access to information, financing, export opportunities, and other essential business services that facilitate the entry and expansion of young firms.

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: 2012-04-01

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