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A Macroeconomic Perspective On Skill Shortages And The Skill Premium In New Zealand

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  • WESHAH A. RAZZAK
  • JASON C. TIMMINS

Abstract

Qualification and occupation-based measures of skilled labour are constructed to explain the skill premium - the wage of skilled labour relative to unskilled labour in New Zealand. The data exhibit a more rapid growth in the supply of skilled labour than the skill premium, and a very large increase in the real minimum wage over the period from 1986 to 2005. We estimate the rate of increase in the relative demand for skills and the elasticity of substitution. The data are consistent with skill shortages and a skill-bias technical change. We examine the effects of the minimum wage, capital complementarity, and the exchange rate on the skill premium. We also test whether the demand for skills and the elasticity of substitution varied across industries and over time. Copyright 2008 The Authors.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Australian Economic Papers.

Volume (Year): 47 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (03)
Pages: 74-91

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ausecp:v:47:y:2008:i:1:p:74-91

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References

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  1. Berman, Eli & Bound, John & Machin, Stephen, 1997. "Implications of Skill-Biased Technological Change: International Evidence," Working Paper Series 486, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  2. Thomas Lemieux, 2006. "Increasing Residual Wage Inequality: Composition Effects, Noisy Data, or Rising Demand for Skill?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 461-498, June.
  3. David Card & Thomas Lemieux, 2000. "Can Falling Supply Explain the Rising Return to College for Younger Men? A Cohort-Based Analysis," NBER Working Papers 7655, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1998. "Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed The Labor Market?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1169-1213, November.
  5. Daron Acemoglu, 2002. "Technical Change, Inequality, and the Labor Market," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(1), pages 7-72, March.
  6. Acemoglu, D., 1997. "Why Do New Technologies Complement Skills? Directed Technical Change and Wage Inequality," Working papers 97-14, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  7. Jose Manuel Campa & Linda S. Goldberg, 1998. "Employment versus wage adjustment and the U.S. dollar," Staff Reports 56, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  8. Taylor, Mark P. & Sarno, Lucio, 1998. "The behavior of real exchange rates during the post-Bretton Woods period," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 281-312, December.
  9. Daron Acemoglu, 2001. "Directed Technical Change," NBER Working Papers 8287, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Stephen Machin & John Van Reenen, 1998. "Technology And Changes In Skill Structure: Evidence From Seven Oecd Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1215-1244, November.
  11. Elliott, Graham, 1999. "Efficient Tests for a Unit Root When the Initial Observation Is Drawn from Its Unconditional Distribution," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(3), pages 767-83, August.
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  13. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2005. "Trends in U.S. Wage Inequality: Re-Assessing the Revisionists," NBER Working Papers 11627, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. W A Razzak, 2004. "Towards Building A New Consensus About New Zealand’s Productivity," GE, Growth, Math methods 0405002, EconWPA.
  15. Levin, Andrew & Lin, Chien-Fu & James Chu, Chia-Shang, 2002. "Unit root tests in panel data: asymptotic and finite-sample properties," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 1-24, May.
  16. Peter C.B. Phillips, 1985. "Time Series Regression with a Unit Root," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 740R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Feb 1986.
  17. Jeff Borland, 2000. "Economic Explanations of Earnings Distribution Trends in the International Literature and Application to New Zealand," Treasury Working Paper Series 00/16, New Zealand Treasury.
  18. Griliches, Zvi, 1969. "Capital-Skill Complementarity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(4), pages 465-68, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Mok, Penny & Mason, Geoff & Stevens, Philip & Timmins, Jason, 2012. "A Good Worker is Hard to Find: Skills Shortages in New Zealand Firms," Occasional Papers 12/5, Ministry of Economic Development, New Zealand.

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