Job Quality and Innovation: A Virtuous Circle in the EU?

Saturday, June 25, 2016: 2:30 PM-4:00 PM
166 Barrows (Barrows Hall)
Mathilde Guergoat-Lariviere, Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, LIRSA & CEE, Paris, France; CNAM, Paris, France
Christine Erhel, University Paris 1, Paris, France
Richard Duhautois, Centre d'Etudes de l'emploi, Paris, France
Since the launch of the Lisbon Strategy, and until the most recent Europe 2020 Strategy, the EU has put forward the hypothesis of a positive relationship between innovation and job quality: according to this view, a growth strategy based on innovation would be a driver of better jobs in Europe (which in return could favour the development of new innovations at the workplace). An extensive literature has been devoted to innovation country specificities in Europe on the one hand (for instance in the innovation scoreboard annual reports), or to job quality analyses on the other hand (Davoine et al, 2008; Muñoz de Bustillo et al, 2011), generally showing the diversity of national performances in these two fields. But the literature linking innovation and job quality remains scarce. Our contribution will try to address this gap, on the basis of the first results of a Horizon 2020 research programme involving seven European countries (Quinne, 2015-2018).

From a theoretical point of view, we will refer to institutionalist approaches of innovation and job quality, building on the innovation systems approach (Amable et al, 1997; Lundvall, 2007) and on the employment regimes approach (Gallie, 2007). These approaches put the stress on the role of institutions and regulation in shaping national “regimes” of innovation and job quality. In our analysis we will make hypotheses on the relevant institutions that may contribute to both innovation and job quality and explain heterogeneity in the relationships between innovation and job quality at the national level.

We will rely on a multidimensional definition of job quality, involving four main dimensions, socio-economic security, working conditions, training and work-life balance. Innovation will be captured through the Oslo manual standard definitions, distinguishing between product and process innovation (technological innovation), and organizational and marketing innovation (non-technological innovation).

Empirically our analyses will build a taxonomy of innovation and labour market regimes, using the appropriate quantitative methods (Primary Component Analysis and Classifications), with the aim of critically assessing the relationships among the different aggregate typologies. This work will be carried out at a cross-national level and will be based on both specific dimensions of job quality (for instance, wages or employment contracts) and synthetic variables (proposed in previous works from the authors, like Davoine et al., 2008, Muñoz de Bustillo et al., 2011).

In this task, several databases will be used. Regarding innovation, we will use the Community Innovation Survey (CIS), which includes detailed information about innovation (share of innovating firms, related to product, process, organisation and marketing innovations). With relation to labour market issues, we will exploit the European Union Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS), with core labour market variables, and the European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS), with very detailed information on employment and working conditions.