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Low Skill but High Volatility?

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  • Claudia M. Buch
  • Christian Pierdzioch

Abstract

Globalization may impose a double-burden on low-skilled workers. On the one hand, the relative supply of low-skilled labor increases. This suppresses wages of low-skilled workers and/or increases their unemployment rates. On the other hand, low-skilled workers typically face more limited access to financial markets than high-skilled workers. This limits their ability to smooth shocks to income intertemporally and to share risks across borders. Using cross-country, industry-level data for the years 1970 - 2004, we document how the volatility of hours worked and of wages of workers at different skill levels has changed over time. We develop a stylized theoretical model that is consistent with the empirical evidence, and we test the predictions of the model. Our results show that greater financial globalization and development increases the volatility of employment, and this effect is strongest for low-skilled workers. A higher share of low-skilled employment has a dampening impact.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2009/wp-cesifo-2009-05/cesifo1_wp2665.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2665.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2665

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Related research

Keywords: labor-market volatility; skill levels; financial globalization;

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References

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  1. M. Ayhan Kose & Eswar Prasad & Kenneth S. Rogoff & Shang-Jin Wei, 2006. "Financial Globalization: A Reappraisal," NBER Working Papers 12484, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Michael Funke & Marc Gronwald, 2009. "A Convex Hull Approach to Counterfactual Analysis of Trade Openness and Growth," Quantitative Macroeconomics Working Papers 20906, Hamburg University, Department of Economics.
  2. M. Alper Çenesiz & Christian Pierdzioch, 2010. "Capital mobility and labor market volatility," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 391-409, December.

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