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Technology, Wages, and Skill Shortages: Evidence from UK Micro Data

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  • Haskel, Jonathan
  • Martin, Christopher

Abstract

Why have skill shortages continue to persist despite increases in training and the skill levels of the workforce? We argue that technical progress has raised the demand for skilled labour to match the observed increase in supply. We provide econometric evidence in support of this hypothesis, showing that skill shortages are higher for establishments that use advanced technology in the production process. We also provide econometric evidence that hiring difficulties are inversely related to the relative wage, as theory would suggest. Our results have clear implications for policy. If technological progress continues to be skill biased, policies that address skills deficiencies will only be successful if they produce a continual, rather than a temporary, increase in levels of skills among the workforce. Copyright 2001 by Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Oxford Economic Papers.

Volume (Year): 53 (2001)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 642-58

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Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:53:y:2001:i:4:p:642-58

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Cited by:
  1. Healy, Joshua & Mavromaras, Kostas G. & Sloane, Peter J., 2011. "Adjusting to Skill Shortages: Complexity and Consequences," IZA Discussion Papers 6097, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Antonelli, Cristiano & Quatraro, Francesco, 2007. "Directed Technological Change and Total Factor Productivity. Effects and Determinants in a Sample of OECD Countries, 1971 – 2001," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 200711, University of Turin.
  3. Anurag Banerjee & Parantap Basu, . " Who pays for job training?," CDMA Conference Paper Series 0802, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis.
  4. Fabling, Richard & Maré, Dave C., 2013. "Firm-Level Hiring Difficulties: Persistence, Business Cycle and Local Labour Market Influences," IZA Discussion Papers 7534, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Falk, Martin, 2001. "What drives the vacancy rate for information technology workers?," ZEW Discussion Papers 01-43, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  6. Anurag N Banerjee & Parantap Basu, 2011. "Who pays for job training?," Working Papers 2011_08, Durham University Business School.
  7. Bellmann, Lutz & Hübler, Olaf, 2014. "Skill Shortages in German Establishments," IZA Discussion Papers 8290, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. 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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