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Innovation and employment in manufacturing and service firms in Ghana

Priscilla Baffour, Festus Turkson, Agyapomaa Gyeke-Dako, Abena D. Oduro and Emmanuel Abbey
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Agyapomaa Gyeke-Dako: University of Ghana
Abena D. Oduro: University of Ghana

Small Business Economics, 2020, vol. 54, issue 4, No 12, 1153-1164

Abstract: Abstract While the importance of innovation as a primary source of economic growth has never been in dispute, its impact on employment has remained indeterminate. On one hand, the pessimists indicate that firm innovation destroys jobs because of the immediate indirect labour-saving nature of the effect of innovation, while the optimists argue that there are several compensation mechanisms that are known to counterbalance the initial effect of innovation and render the final effect indeterminate. Using data on a panel of 421 firms in Ghana, the paper investigates the relationship between innovation introduced at the firm level and employment. Relying on the panel fixed effects and Hausman-Taylor estimation techniques, this study finds a robust statistically significant positive impact of product innovation on employment but not for process innovation. In terms of policy relevance, this finding reemphasizes the need for policy makers in Ghana to intensity efforts in promoting technology diffusion particularly through FDI. This study thus contributes to the literature on innovation in Africa by providing evidence on why technological innovation in the form of product innovation can be a panacea to alleviating employment challenges in Ghana.

Keywords: Process innovation; Product innovation; Employment; Manufacturing; Service; Ghana (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J23 L26 O14 O31 O55 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1007/s11187-018-0120-7

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