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Perspectives of Workers with Low Qualifications in Germany under the Pressures of Globalization and Technical Progress

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  • Harald Hagemann

    ()
    (Universitaet Hohenheim)

  • Ralf Rukwid

    ()
    (Universitaet Hohenheim)

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    Abstract

    This paper gives a detailed analysis of the perspectives of workers with low qualifications in Germany under the twofold pressures of globalization and technological change. First, alter-native explanations for the skill-bias in the development of labour demand are discussed, with particular emphasis on the “trade versus technology” debate. The consequences of the demand shift away from low-skilled labour in Germany are examined in a detailed empirical analysis of the development of (un)employment problems differentiated for qualification groups. Compared to other advanced economies, Germany shows a higher unemployment rate among less-qualified workers which is generally associated with a lack of flexibility in the German wage structure. However, an analysis of German, U.S. and British wage data based on the Cross National Equivalent File (CNEF) does not confirm the assumption of a simple mono-causal relationship between wage disparity and the intensity of group-specific unemployment. Finally, some political approaches for an improvement of the job prospects of less-qualified persons in Germany are outlined briefly and evaluated against the background of the empiri-cal results.

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    File URL: http://www.uni-hohenheim.de/RePEc/hoh/papers/291.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Hohenheim, Germany in its series Diskussionspapiere aus dem Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre der Universität Hohenheim with number 291/2007.

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    Length: 25 pages
    Date of creation: Oct 2007
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hoh:hohdip:291

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    Web page: http://www.uni-hohenheim.de/institution/institut-fuer-economics-11
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    Keywords: low-skilled labour; unemployment; wage inequality; globalization; skill-biased technological change; CNEF;

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    References

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    1. Johannes Gernandt & Friedhelm Pfeiffer, 2007. "Rising Wage Inequality in Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 14, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    2. Freeman, Richard & Schettkat, Ronald, 2001. "Skill Compression, Wage Differentials, and Employment: Germany vs the US," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 582-603, July.
    3. Nickell, Stephen & Bell, Brian, 1996. "Changes in the Distribution of Wages and Unemployment in OECD Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 302-08, May.
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    7. Heitger, Bernhard & Stehn, Jürgen, 2003. "Trade, technical change, and labour market adjustment," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 3101, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    8. Volker Grossmann, 1999. "Lohnungleichheit in den USA, Arbeitslosigkeit in Europa: Wirklich zwei Seiten derselben Medaille?," Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft - WuG, Kammer für Arbeiter und Angestellte für Wien, Abteilung Wirtschaftswissenschaft und Statistik, vol. 25(4), pages 423-448.
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    10. Garloff, Alfred & Fitzenberger, Bernd & Kohn, Karsten, 2003. "Beschäftigung und Lohnstrukturen nach Qualifikationen und Altersgruppen: Eine empirische Analyse auf Basis der IAB-Beschäftigtenstichprobe," ZEW Discussion Papers 03-75, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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    13. David R. Howell & Dean Baker & Andrew Glyn & John Schmitt, 2006. "Are Protective Labor Market Institutions Really at the Root of Unemployment? A Critical Perspective on the Statistical Evidence," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2006-14, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
    14. Paul Krugman, 1994. "Past and prospective causes of high unemployment," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q IV, pages 23-43.
    15. Stephen Nickell, 2003. "Labour Market Institutions and Unemployment in OECD Countries," CESifo DICE Report, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 1(2), pages 13-26, October.
    16. Paul A. Samuelson, 2004. "Where Ricardo and Mill Rebut and Confirm Arguments of Mainstream Economists Supporting Globalization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 135-146, Summer.
    17. Bernhard Heitger & J¸rgen Stehn, 2003. "Trade, Technical Change, and Labour Market Adjustment," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(10), pages 1481-1502, November.
    18. Richard B. Freeman, 1995. "Are Your Wages Set in Beijing?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 15-32, Summer.
    19. Robert Feenstra & Gordon Hanson, 2001. "Global Production Sharing and Rising Inequality: A Survey of Trade and Wages," NBER Working Papers 8372, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:
    1. Goetz Zeddies, 2012. "International trade patterns and labour markets – an empirical analysis for EU member states," International Journal of Economics and Business Research, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 4(1/2), pages 96-115.

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