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Is There Skill-Biased Technological Change in Italian Manufacturing? Evidence from Firm-Level Data

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  • Massimiliano BRATTI

    ()
    (Universit… di Milano, DEAS)

  • Nicola MATTEUCCI

    ([n.a.])

Abstract

The 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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Paper provided by Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali in its series Working Papers with number 202.

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Length: 46
Date of creation: Jan 2004
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Handle: RePEc:anc:wpaper:202

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Keywords: ICT; Italy; R&D; firm-level; manufacturing; skill-biased technological change;

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References

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  1. Jacques Mairesse & Nathalie Greenan & Agnes Topiol-Bensaid, 2001. "Information Technology and Research and Development Impacts on Productivity and Skills: Looking for Correlations on French Firm Level Data," NBER Working Papers 8075, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Bound, John & Johnson, George, 1992. "Changes in the Structure of Wages in the 1980's: An Evaluation of Alternative Explanations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 371-92, June.
  3. David Card & John E. DiNardo, 2002. "Skill-Biased Technological Change and Rising Wage Inequality: Some Problems and Puzzles," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(4), pages 733-783, October.
  4. Daron Acemoglu, 2000. "Technical Change, Inequality, and the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 7800, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Mariacristina Piva & Marco Vivarelli, 2004. "The determinants of the skill bias in Italy: R&D, organisation or globalisation?," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(4), pages 329-347.
  6. Falk, Martin, 1999. "Technological innovations and the expected demand for skilled labour at the firm level," ZEW Discussion Papers 99-59, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  7. Van Reenen, John & Caroli, Eve, 2001. "Skill-Biased Organizational Change? Evidence from a panel of British and French establishments," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/10093, Paris Dauphine University.
  8. David, Paul A, 1990. "The Dynamo and the Computer: An Historical Perspective on the Modern Productivity Paradox," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 355-61, May.
  9. Alessandro Sterlacchini, 1998. "Inputs And Outputs Of Innovative Activities In Italian Manufacturing," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(4), pages 323-344.
  10. Mariacristina Piva & Marco Vivarelli, 2002. "The Skill Bias: Comparative evidence and an econometric test," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(3), pages 347-357.
  11. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 1999. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization and the Demand for Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7136, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Machin, Stephen, 2001. " The Changing Nature of Labour Demand in the New Economy and Skill-Biased Technology Change," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 63(0), pages 753-76, Special I.
  13. Dominique Goux & Eric Maurin, 2000. "The Decline In Demand For Unskilled Labor: An Empirical Analysis Method And Its Application To France," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(4), pages 596-607, November.
  14. Paola CASAVOLA & Andréa GAVOSTO & Paolo SESTITO, 1996. "Technical Progres and Wage Dispersion in Italy: Evidence from Firm's Data," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 41-42, pages 387-412.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Stefania BUSSOLETTI & Roberto ESPOSTI, 2004. "Regional Convergence, Structural Funds and the Role of Agricolture in the EU. A Panel-Data Approach," Working Papers 220, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
  2. Renato BALDUCCI, 2005. "Public Expenditure and Economic Growth. A critical extension of Barro's (1990) model," Working Papers 240, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
  3. Sami SAAFI & Fouzi SBOUI, 2011. "LES OPPORTUNITES DES INVESTISSEMENTS DIRECTS ETRANGERS LES OPPORTUNITES DES INVESTISSEMENTS DIRECTS ETRANGERS, DIFFUSION TECHNOLOGIQUE ET DEMANDE DE LA MAIN-D’OEUVRE PAR QUALIFICATION DES INDUSTRIES," Working Papers 240, Laboratoire de Recherche sur l'Industrie et l'Innovation. ULCO / Research Unit on Industry and Innovation.
  4. Roberto ESPOSTI & Pierpaolo PIERANI, 2005. "Price, Private Demand and Optimal Provision of Public R&D in Italian Agriculture," Working Papers 238, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
  5. R. Antonietti & D. Antonioli, 2007. "Production offshoring and the skill composition of Italian manufacturing firms A quasi-experimental analysis," Working Papers 594, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  6. Paolo Naticchioni & Andrea Ricci & Emiliano Rustichelli, 2007. "Wage Structure, Inequality And Skill-Biased Change: Is Italy An Outlier?," Quaderni del Dipartimento di Economia, Finanza e Statistica 38/2007, Università di Perugia, Dipartimento Economia, Finanza e Statistica.
  7. Davide Antonioli & Paolo Pini & Rocco Manzalini, 2011. "Innovation, Workers Skills and Industrial Relations: Empirical Evidence from Firm-level Italian Data," Working Papers 201106, University of Ferrara, Department of Economics.
  8. Chiara BROCCOLINI & Alessia LO TURCO & Andrea PRESBITERO & Stefano STAFFOLANI, 2007. "International Outsourcing vs. ICT in explaining the wage gap in Italian Manufacturing," Working Papers 299, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
  9. Gabriele BALLARINO & Massimiliano BRATTI, 2006. "Fields of study and graduates? occupational outcomes in Italy during the 90s. Who won and who lost?," Departmental Working Papers 2006-17, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
  10. Emmanuelle Walkowiak, 2006. "Renouvellement de la main-d'œuvre et modernisation des entreprises," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 57(6), pages 1205-1233.
  11. Paolo Naticchioni & Andrea Ricci & Emiliano Rustichelli, 2008. "Wage Inequality, Employment Structure and Skill-biased Change in Italy," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 22(s1), pages 27-51, 06.
  12. Paolo Seri, 2014. "The role of proximity in retrospective: organizations, ICT and human resources in Italian traditional districts’ firms," Working Papers 1404, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Department of Economics, Society & Politics - Scientific Committee - L. Stefanini & G. Travaglini, revised 2014.
  13. Maren M. Michaelsen, 2011. "The Hidden Increase in Wage Inequality: Skill-biased and Ability-biased Technological Change," Ruhr Economic Papers 0262, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.

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