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Labor market reform and innovation: Evidence from Spain

María García-Vega, Richard Kneller () and Joel Stiebale ()

Research Policy, 2021, vol. 50, issue 5

Abstract: We analyze the effect of a labor market reform on firms’ product innovation. The reform, which amounts to a natural experiment, differentially reduced firing costs for some firms, thereby lowering adjustment costs in the presence of demand uncertainty. Using a difference-in-differences framework, we show that the reform increased product innovations. We also provide evidence that the reform induced upgrading of product quality and enabled firms to grow faster and enter new markets. The effects are concentrated in industries with high levels of demand volatility and R&D intensity, where flexible adjustments to unexpected shocks are important.

Keywords: Innovation; New products; Productivity; Labor market reform; EPL (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D22 G31 J3 O31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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Working Paper: Labor market reform and innovation: Evidence from Spain (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: Labour market reform and innovation: Evidence from Spain (2019) Downloads
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DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2021.104213

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