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Technical Change and Polarization of the Labor Market: Evidence for Brazil, Colombia and Mexico

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  • Carlos Medina

    ()

  • Christian Posso

    ()

Abstract

We use occupations descriptions for Brazil, Colombia and Mexico, to build computer-use related tasks intensities, and link then to series of cross sections of data of each country in order to empirically assess to what extent the observed empirical regularities, and the reallocation of workers across occupations that require different tasks intensities, are consistent with the SBTC or polarization models. We find an increase of both wages and workers at the extremes of the wage or skills occupations distribution, the less routinaire/computerizabe, particularly pronounced in the period since personal computers began to be introduced in the region. This finding, along with other empirical regularities, provides support for some of the main implications of the polarization model in the cases of Colombia and Mexico.

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Paper provided by Banco de la Republica de Colombia in its series Borradores de Economia with number 614.

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Handle: RePEc:bdr:borrec:614

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Keywords: Relative Wages; Income Distribution; Technical Change. Classification JEL:J3; D3; O3;

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References

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  1. Michael T. Kiley, 1997. "The supply of skilled labor and skill-based technological progress," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1997-45, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Luis Eduardo Arango & Carlos Esteban Posada & José Darío Uribe, 2004. "Cambios en la Estructura de los Salarios Urbanos en Colombia (1984-2000)," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 002088, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
  3. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2006. "The Polarization of the U.S. Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 189-194, May.
  4. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2002. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization, And The Demand For Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 339-376, February.
  5. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2008. "Trends in U.S. Wage Inequality: Revising the Revisionists," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 300-323, May.
  6. Steven J. Davis, 1992. "Cross-Country Patterns of Change in Relative Wages," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1992, Volume 7, pages 239-300 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Dustmann, Christian & Ludsteck, Johannes & Schönberg, Uta, 2007. "Revisiting the German Wage Structure," IZA Discussion Papers 2685, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Giovanni Peri & Chad Sparber, 2009. "Task Specialization, Immigration, and Wages," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(3), pages 135-69, July.
  9. Christian Manuel Posso Suárez, 2008. "Desigualdad salarial en Colombia 1984-2005: cambios en la composición del mercado laboral y retornos a la educación post-secundaria," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 005003, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
  10. 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.
  11. Mauricio Santamaría, 2004. "Income Inequality, Skills And Trade: Evidence From Colombia During The 80s And 90s," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 002832, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  12. Giovanni Peri & Chad Sparber, 2008. "Highly-Educated Immigrants and Native Occupational Choice," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0813, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  13. Katz, Lawrence F & Murphy, Kevin M, 1992. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963-1987: Supply and Demand Factors," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 35-78, February.
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  16. Dew-Becker, Ian & Gordon, Robert J, 2008. "Controversies about the Rise in American Inequality: A Survey," CEPR Discussion Papers 6817, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  18. Mauricio Cardenas & Raquel Bernal, 2004. "Determinants of Labor Demand in Colombia. 1976–1996," NBER Chapters, in: Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean, pages 229-272 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Per Krusell & Lee E. Ohanian & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull & Giovanni L. Violante, 1997. "Capital-skill complementarity and inequality: a macroeconomic analysis," Staff Report 239, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  20. Fajnzylber, Pablo & Fernandes,Ana Margarida, 2004. "International economic activities and the demand for skilled labor: evidence from Brazil and China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3426, The World Bank.
  21. Kevin M. Murphy & W. Craig Riddell & Paul M. Romer, 1998. "Wages, Skills, and Technology in the United States and Canada," NBER Working Papers 6638, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Maarten Goos & Alan Manning, 2007. "Lousy and Lovely Jobs: The Rising Polarization of Work in Britain," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 118-133, February.
  23. Carlos Medina & Christian Manuel Posso, . "Colombian and South American Immigrants in the United States of America: Education Levels, Job Qualifications and the Decision to Go Back Home," Borradores de Economia 572, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
  24. Desjonqueres, Thibaut & Machin, Stephen & Van Reenen, John, 1999. " Another Nail in the Coffin? Or Can the Trade Based Explanation of Changing Skill Structures Be Resurrected?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 101(4), pages 533-54, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Christian Manuel Posso Suárez, . "Desigualdad salarial en Colombia 1984-2005: cambios en la composición del mercado laboral y retornos a la educación post-secundaria," Borradores de Economia 529, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
  2. Binelli, Chiara, 2014. "How the wage-education profile got more convex: evidence from Mexico," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 1404, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  3. Carmiña O: Vargas, 2011. "Desigualdad de salarios en Colombia: evidencia a partir de encuestas de hogares 1984 - 2010," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 008808, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.

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