"This special issue is devoted to 'Regional Labour Markets', the theme of the 4th International Summer Conference on Regional Science in Dresden in 2011. The conference was organized by the GfR, the German speaking section of the Regional Science Association International (RSAI). Presenters were invited to submit papers to this special issue of PiRS. In addition an international call for papers had been issued."
"The last decade has been shaped by dramatic developments in international trade, international investment and production, both in terms of the scale of events and in terms of their qualitative nature. Intriguing questions have been thrown up concerning the labor market impact of these developments, notably welfare issues (the evolution of real wages, employment and unemployment), the distribution of income (the wage structure) and employment volatility. Path-breaking innovations in the theories of trade, location and the multinational firm allow a fresh look at these labor market effects. This paper takes stock of these theoretical innovations and contrasts these with the recent empirical research efforts to uncover the labor market implications of trade and FDI. We identify research gaps and highlight promising avenues for future research."
"The wage curve postulates that the wage level is a decreasing function of the regional unemployment rate. In testing this hypothesis, most studies have not taken into account that differences in the institutional framework may have an impact on the existence (or the slope) of a wage curve. Using a large-scale linked employer–employee dataset for Western Germany, this article provides a first direct test of the relevance of different bargaining regimes (and of works councils) for the existence of a wage curve. In pooled regressions for the period 1998 to 2006, as well as in worker-level or plant-level fixed-effects estimations, we obtain evidence for a wage curve for plants with a collective bargaining agreement at firm level. The point estimates for this group of plants are close to the −0.1 elasticity of wages with respect to unemployment postulated by Blanchflower and Oswald. In this regime, we also find that works councils dampen the adjustment of wages to the regional unemployment situation. In the other regimes of plants that either do not make use of collective contracts or apply sectoral agreements, we do not find a wage curve."
"Urbanization and localization effects are known to boost the regional economy and its growth potential. The emergence of these effects is due to localized knowledge flows, the closeness to markets, but also due to the diversity of services and industries. All these effects have the potential to increase the productivity (and profitability) of firms. Whereas many studies have been conducted at the industry or the regional level, this paper adds to the existing literature by starting at the level of establishments and taking the interaction with the surrounding regions into account. This is possible by exploiting an exceptionally large establishment panel study and the employment statistics for Germany. The empirical analyses are carried out in two steps regressions in order to separate the characteristics of establishments from regional influences."
"Recent years have seen a tendency towards larger migration flows between many countries. Due to this development the population in the most developed countries in particular is growing increasingly diverse. People with very different cultural backgrounds are living and working together. The social, political and economic implications of this situation are far-reaching, complicated and not completely understood. This paper addresses an important aspect of these implications by looking at the effects of cultural diversity on the labour market. In principle, negative effects can arise from communication problems between people of different cultural backgrounds, from hidden discrimination and even from open clashes. On the other hand, positive effects are possible, since workers from different cultures and nations may possess complementary skills and problem-solving abilities. The intensive interaction of people from different backgrounds can generate ideas and solutions that would not have been developed in culturally homogeneous environments."
The diversity of nationalities of foreign workers in the German labour market has increased considerably over the period 1995–2006. This paper investigates the effects of this diversity for native employees at the local level. The higher is high-skilled foreign employment, the higher are local wages and employment levels for natives. These effects are reinforced the more diverse is the group of high-skilled foreigners. For low-skilled foreigners benefits from diversity are also found, but only conditional on the overall size of this group. These results suggest that cultural diversity benefits native workers by raising local productivity.
- International immigration affects the degree of cultural diversity present in a labour force. The purpose of this paper is to focus on the consequences of immigration with respect to the level of cultural diversity by estimating employment functions for individual establishments. Design/methodology/approach
– The theory behind the empirical analyses is based on a “turned around” new economic geography model. The data basis used is a linked employer – employee data set generated by a fusion of the IAB Establishment Panel with the Employment Statistics of Germany, which provides very detailed information about individual workers and establishments. In the empirical part instrumental variables techniques are employed to solve the endogeneity issues involved.
– In the empirical analyses it is shown that employment is lower when the degree of diversity is higher, regarding the revenue of an individual establishment as given. From this result it can be derived under the conditions of monopolistic competition (implying elastic product demand) that the establishment is able to occupy a relatively large part of the market. Finally, this impliesrelatively high labour demand. Practical implications
– The paper provides clear evidence that cultural diversity in single establishments enhance productivity. The question remains whether different employees interact each another or whether they are separated to different tasks within the establishment. In the latter case productivity gains are due to task-specific knowledge whereas in the former one the interaction of different cultures matters. This issue cannot be answered with the given data set.
– Negative effects emerging from employing various cultures (such as language barriers) can be compensated. Thus, hiring foreign born workers does not mean a decline in productivity and a loss in competitiveness.
Since the days of David Ricardo economists have discussed the effects of technological progress on employment. Due to a theorem which can be traced back at least to Neisser (1942), these effects can be related to the elasticity of product demand. In this paper we prove the theorem formally in a modern framework and generalize it to the case of many products. This theorem is relevant in many different regards. In particular it may contribute to a better understanding of regional and national (un-) employment.