Marco Leonardi, Giovanni Pica, Julián Messina, 04 March 2010

How do financial crises alter the effects of employment protection legislation? This column argues that firms with insufficient access to credit are even less able to rationalise their costs by switching from labour to capital – reinforcing the negative effects on productivity. But policymakers should also consider that, in countries with less-developed financial markets, employment protection provides insurance against labour-market risk.

David Audretsch, 22 August 2008

David Audretsch of the Max Planck Institute of Economics and Indiana University talks to Romesh Vaitilingam about his research programme on entrepreneurship – the key institutional drivers and constraints; the impact of globalisation and new technology; the links to growth and competitiveness; and the public policy issues. The interview was recorded at the American Economic Association meetings in New Orleans in January 2008.

Alexander Hijzen, 04 August 2008

Multinational enterprises’ foreign labour practices frequently come under fire. This column presents new evidence on how foreign takeovers affect workers’ wages and non-wage working conditions. The results suggest foreign investment is worth encouraging.

Farid Toubal, Fabrice Defever, 26 July 2008

Outsourcing has been much discussed in terms of its impacts on employment and growth. But how, why, and where do firms outsource parts of their production? This column presents empirical evidence that tests theoretical models of global sourcing

Philippe Martin, Thierry Mayer, Florian Mayneris, 16 June 2008

The analysis of agglomeration economies focuses around two separate important questions: how large the gains from agglomeration are and how much firms internalize these gains when deciding where to locate. In order to provide answers, the authors of CEPR DP6858 focus on agglomeration externalities and distinguish between urbanization economies, which refer to the cross fertilization of different industries on a given territory and localization economies, which group the concepts of externalities on inputs market, on the labour market and knowledge.

Rachel Griffith, Heike Harmgart, 03 April 2008

The UK retail sector’s performance has been disappointing compared to the United States, where significant productivity gains are attributed to greater dynamism. A number of analysts have blamed the UK’s woes on planning regulation and urged liberalisation. But the evidence presented in this column shows that the impact of planning regulation is overstated.

Michael Burda, 23 July 2007

Germany has finally gotten aboard the train of labour market, supply-side oriented reforms initiated by Europe’s success stories -- Netherlands, Denmark, Ireland, and the UK. Italy and France would do well to follow suit

Nicholas Bloom, Raffaella Sadun, John Van Reenen, 17 July 2007

It has taken a long time to confirm that computers boost productivity. The key seems to lie in management and internal organisation. That’s why IT has helped US firms so much more than their European counterparts.

Nicholas Bloom, Raffaella Sadun, John Van Reenen, 12 July 2007

US firms typically have better management practices than their European counterparts. This ‘management gap’ has a direct impact on productivity differences. Policies on competition, labour market flexibility and education are key to closing the gap.

Nicholas Bloom, Raffaella Sadun, John Van Reenen, 13 May 2007

The US has experienced a sustained increase in productivity growth since the mid-1990s which has not been mirrored in Europe. The majority of this growth has occurred in sectors that either intensively use or produce IT, but while the IT-producing sectors in Europe have matched the growth of their US counterparts, the IT-using sectors (particularly retail, wholesale and financial services) have not.

Shang-Jin Wei, 16 June 2007

Data on 12,400 firms in 120 Chinese cities show that state-owned firms have lower marginal returns to capital than private or foreign firms. This inefficiency costs China 5% of its GDP and suggests there would be big gains to further financial and corporate-governance reforms.

Neil Gandal, Charles King, Marshall Van Alstyne, 23 April 2007

There has already been evidence suggesting that information technology (IT) makes significant contributions to productivity; the authors of CEPR DP 6260 explore its impact on individual users in a white-collar setting.

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