Is There Skill-Biased Technological Change in Italian Manufacturing? Evidence from Firm-Level Data
AbstractThe bulk of literature finding support for the Skill-Biased Technological Change (SBTC) hypothesis has focused on the US and the UK, while evidence on other countries is "mixed". We use firm-level data to test for the presence of SBTC in Italian manufacturing. This is interesting since, as well known, Italy is a "late comer" country and stands as a follower in the realm of new technologies. We estimate employment-share equations and find evidence that the impact of R&D on the skill-ratio (the ratio between white collars and blue collars) varies across Pavitt sectors and according to destination of R&D. However, whenever evidence supporting SBTC (i.e. a positive impact on the skill-ratio) is found, it mainly operates through the reduction of unskilled workers. This can be easily reconciled with the structural features of Italian manufacturing where traditional sectors and small and medium sized firms prevail, innovative activity is scarce and mainly labour-saving and the capacity to absorb skilled labour rather limited.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali in its series Working Papers with number 202.
Date of creation: Jan 2004
Date of revision:
ICT; Italy; R&D; firm-level; manufacturing; skill-biased technological change;
Other versions of this item:
- Massimiliano Bratti & Nicola Matteucci, 2005. "Is there skilled-biased technological change in Italian manufacturing? Evidence from firm-level data," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 48(1-2), pages 153-182.
- J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
- L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General
- O33 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
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