Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Technological changes, wage inequality and skill premiums: Evidence over three centuries

Contents:

Author Info

  • Jaakko Pehkonen
  • Jari Ojala
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    This study analyses the evolution of wages and occupational composition of labour over three centuries, from 1755 to 1914, using worker-workplace data. The data from one industry offers a unique view on long-term trends in skill composition, wage inequality and occupational wage premiums. A major shift in the production technology, a shift from sail-only vessels to steam-operated vessels, in turn, allows the examination the popular skill-biased technological change (SBTC) hypothesis in a well-defined setting. We find that (i) technological change had both a new-skill-demanding aspect, showing up as an increase in the demand for skilled engineers, and a skill-replacing aspect, resulting in a decline in the demand for skilled able-bodied seamen and an increase in unskilled engine room operatives, (ii) increasing wage inequality in the latter part of the 18th century was associated with the emergence of new skilled occupations and rising wages of skilled seamen, and (iii) wage inequality evolved slowly over time and there were different, declining and rising phases in wage inequality.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://www.vatt.fi/file/vatt_publication_pdf/wp5.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.vatt.fi/publications/latestPublications/publication/Publication_1345_id/827
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT) in its series Working Papers with number 5.

    as in new window
    Length:
    Date of creation: 10 Jun 2009
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:fer:wpaper:5

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: Arkadiankatu 7, P.O. Box 1279, FI-00101 Helsinki
    Phone: +358 295 519 400
    Fax: +358 295 519 599
    Email:
    Web page: http://www.vatt.fi/
    More information through EDIRC

    Order Information:
    Email:

    Related research

    Keywords: Wage inequality; skill composition; technological change;

    Find related papers by JEL classification:

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    References

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Hynninen, Sanna-Mari & Ojala, Jari & Pehkonen, Jaakko, 2013. "Technological change and wage premiums: Historical evidence from linked employer–employee data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 1-11.

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fer:wpaper:5. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Anita Niskanen).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.