The cleansing effect of the minimum wage in China

Florian Mayneris, Sandra Poncet 13 October 2014

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Can higher minimum wages ensure that economic development benefits the poorest without hindering growth? The question is controversial in both academic and policy circles. The recent riots in Bangladesh and Cambodia show that the social demand for a more equal distribution of the benefits of growth is high in developing countries. In China, polls reveal that concerns about inequality have grown as "roughly eight-in-ten have the view that the rich just get richer while the poor get poorer'' (Pewresearch Center 2012). The debate is also heated in developed economies.

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Topics:  Industrial organisation Labour markets

Tags:  China, wages, firms, productivity

Real wages continue to fall in the UK

David Blanchflower, Stephen Machin 29 September 2014

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Real wages continue to fall in the UK and elsewhere (Jowett et al. 2014). Yet this striking feature of the labour market still fails to register properly with some commentators. On 9 September 2014, Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, gave a speech at the 146th annual Trades Union Congress in Liverpool, where he argued as follows:

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Topics:  Europe's nations and regions Labour markets Productivity and Innovation

Tags:  wages, UK, productivity, unions, union membership

Employee satisfaction and firm value: A global perspective

Alex Edmans 25 July 2014

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Is employee satisfaction good or bad for firm value? While it may seem natural that companies should do better if their workers are happier, this relationship is far from obvious. The 20th-century way of managing workers (e.g. Taylor 1911) is to view them as any other input – just as managers shouldn’t overpay for or underutilise raw materials, they shouldn’t do so with workers. High worker satisfaction may be a sign that workers are overpaid or underworked. However, the world is different nowadays.

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Topics:  Labour markets Microeconomic regulation Productivity and Innovation

Tags:  employment, Labour Markets, productivity, Management, happiness, Stock returns, labour-market flexibility, employment protection, work, employee satisfaction, worker satisfaction, profits, labour-market regulation

Agglomeration and product innovation in China

Hongyong Zhang 21 July 2014

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Spatial agglomeration of economic activities is generally assumed to improve productivity and spur firms’ innovation through localisation economies and urbanisation economies.1 There is an extensive empirical literature investigating the effects of localisation and urbanisation on firm-level productivity. Despite its economic importance, there are few empirical studies focusing on agglomeration and product innovation. Feldman and Audretsch (1999) and De Beule and Van Beveren (2010) are two of the few exceptions.

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Topics:  Productivity and Innovation

Tags:  R&D, productivity, China, spatial concentration, innovation, subsidies, clusters, agglomeration

Protection of intellectual property to foster innovations in the service sector

Masayuki Morikawa 20 July 2014

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Given the declining labour force due to population ageing, accelerating the productivity growth of industries – especially the service industries – is an important element of the growth strategy in Japan and most advanced countries. While there are a variety of factors affecting productivity, innovation is one of the key determinants of productivity growth. However, innovation in the service sector has not been studied well. I present findings on innovation in the service sector by focusing on the effect of intellectual property rights on innovation.

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Topics:  Productivity and Innovation

Tags:  R&D, growth, productivity, patents, Japan, innovation, services, intellectual property, trade secrets

Sourcing foreign inputs to improve firm performance

Maria Bas, Vanessa Strauss-Kahn 14 July 2014

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Should trade policy fight or promote imports of intermediate inputs? While several studies have shown the recent increase in imports of intermediate goods, their role in shaping domestic economies is not yet completely understood. Following the work of Feenstra and Hanson (1996), a large literature focuses on the impact of imported intermediate inputs on employment and inequality. It concludes that, like outsourcing, imported intermediate inputs have a role (although limited) in explaining job losses and wage reductions.

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Topics:  International trade

Tags:  employment, productivity, wages, Inequality, trade, exports, outsourcing, imports, global value chains, Intermediate inputs

Connecting Brazil to the world

Patricia Ellen, Jaana Remes 12 July 2014

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Despite a decade of rapid growth and falling poverty rates, Brazil has failed to match the global average for income growth – let alone to achieve the kind of impressive gains posted by other rapidly transforming emerging economies. As of 2012, Brazil had become the world’s seventh-largest economy, but it ranked only 95th in the world for gross national income per capita (IHS Economics and Country Risk data). To raise household living standards, Brazil needs to find a new formula for accelerating productivity growth.

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Topics:  Development International trade Productivity and Innovation

Tags:  development, growth, productivity, globalisation, MERCOSUR, trade, openness, Brazil, global value chains

Globalisation, job security, and wages

Kerem Cosar, Nezih Guner, James R Tybout 07 July 2014

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How does increased openness to international trade affect workers’ wages and job security? This question is central to the public debate concerning the effects of globalisation, but convincing quantitative answers have been difficult to come by. One fundamental reason is that major trade liberalisation episodes have often coincided with labour reforms (Heckman and Pages 2004). Colombia is a case in point. As Figure 1 shows, this country experienced deindustrialisation, higher job turnover rates, and heightened wage inequality in the years following its 1986–1991 trade liberalisation.

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Topics:  International trade Labour markets

Tags:  productivity, unemployment, globalisation, wages, trade liberalisation, Inequality, labour market reforms, exports, Colombia, job security

Are large headquarters unproductive?

Masayuki Morikawa 19 June 2014

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The role of headquarters

Headquarters – the core service sector inside companies – conduct a wide range of highly strategic activities, including:

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Topics:  Productivity and Innovation

Tags:  productivity, Management, ICT, Japan, technology, headquarters, centralisation

Are large headquarters unproductive?

Masayuki Morikawa 26 August 2014

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The role of headquarters

Headquarters – the core service sector inside companies – conduct a wide range of highly strategic activities, including:

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Topics:  Productivity and Innovation

Tags:  productivity, Management, ICT, Japan, technology, headquarters, centralisation

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