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The puzzle on the causality of the productivity and employment growth: evidence from firm-level data

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This article analyses the causality between the firm’s employment and productivity growth based on the population of manufacturing firms registered in Slovenia in the 1994–2003 period. By using the system GMM estimator, we show that the employment–productivity growth trade-off does not exist. Moreover, we find significant complementarities between employment and productivity growth, mostly driven by SMEs and firms from high-tech industries. Accordingly, we argue that the job-creation policy and productivity-promoting policy are complementary rather than trade-offs and that policymakers should focus on the optimal policy mix that provides the highest aggregate effect with regard to all growth aspects. Further, significant differences among the factors of employment and productivity growth suggest that job-creation policy measures are most successful when targeted at younger export-oriented firms with high total factor productivity levels and capital-intensive production. Meanwhile, the outcome of policy measures aimed at promoting productivity increases with a firm’s capital intensity and size up to the threshold employment level and with the intensity of market competition.

Keywords: C23; D22; D24; E61; L20; TFP; causality; economic policy; employment; firm growth

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana, 1000, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Publication date: 2014-05-13

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