Économie et Statistique n° 438-440 - Aspects of the crisis
The Decline in Industrial Employment in France Between 1980 and 2007 - Scope and Main Determinants: An Assessment
Deindustrialization, a phenomenon observed in France as in all the other developed economies, can be characterized by three concomitant transformations: a decline in industrial employment, a decreasing contribution of the industrial sector to GDP, and robust growth in market services. This article seeks to assess the role of three structural determinants of deindustrialization in France in the period 1980-2007 (and the sub-period 2000-2007): the outsourcing of certain tasks by industrial firms to the service sector; the changing structure of demand and productivity gains; and the substitution of imports for domestic production, linked to the loss of international competitiveness by French industry. Our results suggest that the first two factors-which are domestic in nature-contributed 25% and 30% respectively to industrial job destructions in 1980-2007. The impact of foreign competition proved harder to assess accurately, with estimates ranging from 13% (using an accounting approach) to 40% (using an econometric approach) of observed job destructions.