Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Ratio Working Papers,
The Ratio Institute

No 285: The Impact of ICT and E-Commerce Activities on Employment in Europe

Federico Biagi and Martin Falk ()
Additional contact information
Federico Biagi: European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), Directorate Growth & Innovation, Human Capital and Employment Unit and University of Padua, Italy, Postal: The Ratio Institute, P.O. Box 5095, SE-102 42 Stockholm, Sweden
Martin Falk: Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO), Postal: Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO) Arsenal Objekt 20, A-1030 Vienna, Austria

Abstract: This study presents new empirical evidence regarding the impact of ICT/e-commerce activities on labour demand. The data is based on new and unique data for 10 European countries for the period 2002-2010. A key feature of the empirical analysis is the use of several types of advanced ICT activities, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems,mobile internet access, and e-commerce practices. The main result of the study is that the increase in ICT/e-commerce activities over time has not led to a decline in jobs. This holds true for both manufacturing and service industries, as well as for SMEs and large firms. For ERP systems and websites, there is some evidence of positive effects. These findings do not support the hypothesis that ICT utilization is leading to labour substitution overall. In fact, ICT activities appear to be rather neutral to employment. The results are robust not only to the model specification, but also the estimation method applied.

Keywords: labour demand; information and communication technologies; e-commerce activities

JEL-codes: J23; O33

20 pages, February 1, 2017

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