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Wage Premia and Skill Upgrading in Italy: Why Didn't the Hound Bark?

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  • Manasse, Paolo
  • Stanca, Luca
  • Turrini, Alessandro Antonio

Abstract

This Paper presents firm level evidence on the dynamics of non-manual wage premia and employment shares in Italian manufacturing during the nineties. We find that the relative stability of aggregate wage premia and employment shares hides offsetting disaggregate forces. First, while technical progress raises the relative demand for skilled labor within firms, demand changes associated with exports reduce the relative demand for skills. Second, within the class of non-manual workers, wage premia and employment shares of executives rise substantially, whereas those of clerks fall in a similar proportion. We also find that the export status of firms plays a key role in explaining labour market dynamics, as exporters account for most of both demand-related and technology-related shifts. Overall, our results for Italy question the general validity of the conventional view that emphasizes the role of labour market institutions, as opposed to trade and technology, in determining wage and employment dynamics in continental Europe.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3202.

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Date of creation: Feb 2002
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3202

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Keywords: international trade; technological change; wage differentials;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Anna M. Falzoni & Alessandra Venturini & Claudia Villosio, 2004. "Wage Differentials and International Trade in Italy Using Individual Micro Data 1991-1996," Development Working Papers 190, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  2. Piva, Mariacristina & Santarelli, Enrico & Vivarelli, Marco, 2005. "The skill bias effect of technological and organisational change: Evidence and policy implications," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 141-157, March.
  3. Paolo Manasse & Luca Stanca, 2002. "Working on the Train: Technology, Trade and Wages in Italian Manufacturing," Working Papers 61, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2002.
  4. Andrea Caggese & Vincente Cunat, 2011. "Financing Constraints, Firm Dynamics, Export Decisions and Aggregate productivity," FMG Discussion Papers dp685, Financial Markets Group.
  5. Paolo Ghinetti, 2007. "Technology Innovations, Organisational Changes and Firms’ Wages in Italy," Working Papers 111, SEMEQ Department - Faculty of Economics - University of Eastern Piedmont.
  6. Anna M. Falzoni & Alessandra Venturini & Claudia Villosio, 2007. "Skilled and Unskilled Wage Dynamics in Italy in the ‘90s: Changes in the individual characteristics, institutions, trade and technology," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 61, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
  7. Dumont, Michel, 2006. "The reliability-or lack thereof-of data on skills," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 93(3), pages 348-353, December.
  8. Antonio Accetturo & Matteo Bugamelli & Andrea Lamorgese, 2013. "Skill upgrading and exports," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 919, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  9. Aleksandra Parteka, 2012. "Skilled-Unskilled Wage Gap Versus Evolving Trade And Labour Market Structures in the EU," Working Papers 1204, Instytut Rozwoju, Institute for Development.
  10. Mara GRASSENI, 2004. "Technology, MNEs activity and Italian skill upgrading," Departmental Working Papers 2004-25, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
  11. Anna M. Falzoni & Lucia Tajoli, 2008. "Offshoring and the skill composition of employment in the Italian manufacturing industries," KITeS Working Papers 219, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Jul 2008.

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