nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2011‒02‒26
two papers chosen by
Walter Frisch
University Vienna

  1. Information and Communication Technologies and Skill Upgrading: The Role of Internal vs. External Labour Markets By Behaghel, Luc; Caroli, Eve; Walkowiak, Emmanuelle
  2. The Emergence of Social Structure: Employer Information Networks in an Experimental Labor Market By Klarita Gerxhani; Jordi Brandts; Arthur Schram

  1. By: Behaghel, Luc (CREST-INSEE); Caroli, Eve (University Paris Ouest-Nanterre); Walkowiak, Emmanuelle ((CEE) Centre D'Ètudes de L'Emploi)
    Abstract: Following the adoption of information and communication technologies (ICT), firms are likely to face increasing skill requirements. They may react either by training or hiring the new skills, or by a combination of both. We first show that ICT are indeed skill biased and we then assess the relative importance of external and internal labour market strategies. We show that skill upgrading following ICT adoption takes place mostly through internal labour markets adjustments. The introduction of ICT is associated with an upward shift in firms’ occupational structure, of which one third is due to hiring and firing workers from and to the external labour market, whereas two-thirds are due to promotions. Moreover, we find no compelling evidence of external labour market strategies based on "excess turnover". In contrast, French firms heavily rely on training in order to upgrade the skill level of their workforce, even if this varies across industries.
    Keywords: technical change, labour turnover, skill bias, training, internal labour markets
    JEL: J23 J24 J41
    Date: 2011–02
  2. By: Klarita Gerxhani (University of Amsterdam); Jordi Brandts (Autonoma University, Barcelona); Arthur Schram (University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: We use laboratory experiments to investigate how employers develop social structures for sharing information about the trustworthiness of job candidates, when worker opportunism is possible. The experimental data show that substantial information sharing emerges. Two types of information networks are observed. One consists of 'anonymity networks' where information is anonymously and voluntarily provided as a collective good for all employers to use. The other type is a 'reciprocity network' where information sharing is driven by the rewarding of previously given information by the requestor. In both types, the extent of information sharing depends on the costs of providing it. Moreover, information sharing enables employers to recruit trustworthy workers which creates a high quality of trading, benefiting both employer and worker.
    Keywords: Social structure; Information networks; Recruitment; Experiments
    JEL: Z13 J23
    Date: 2011–02–11

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