Weaker Jobs, Weaker Innovation. Exploring The Temporary Employment-Product Innovation Nexus

In the last decades, labour flexibility has been introduced all across Europe with the aim of spurring jobs and productivity. This work explores the link between the use of temporary employment and the propensity to introduce product innovations by firms. The analysis performed at the sectoral level combines information on innovation, economic performance and employment for five major European economies observed over the period 1998-2012. Taking into account the variety of technological patterns, the authors find that industries using temporary employment more intensively are characterized by a weak product innovation propensity. The negative correlation between temporary employment and innovation is stronger in medium and high-tech sectors identified alternatively by Peneder classification and by the concentration of firms’ intangible assets proxing different Schumpeterian regimes of accumulation.