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Exporters, Skill Upgrading, and the Wage Gap

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Author Info

  • Bernard, A.B.
  • Jensen, J.B.

Abstract

This paper examines plant level evidence on the increase in demand for non-production workers in U.S. manufacturing during the 1980's. The major finding is that increases in employment at exporting plants contribute heavily to the observed increase in relative demand for skilled labor in manufacturing during the period. Exporters account for almost all of the increase in the wage gap between high and low-skilled workers. Tests of the competing theories with plant level data show that demand changes associated with increased exports are strongly associated with the wage gap increases. Increases in plant technology are determinants of within plant skill-upgrading but not of the aggregate wage gap rise.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 94-30.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: 1994
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mit:worpap:94-30

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Postal: MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (MIT), DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS, 50 MEMORIAL DRIVE CAMBRIDGE MASSACHUSETTS 02142 USA
Phone: (617) 253-3361
Fax: (617) 253-1330
Web page: http://econ-www.mit.edu/
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Postal: MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (MIT), DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS, 50 MEMORIAL DRIVE CAMBRIDGE MASSACHUSETTS 02142 USA
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Keywords: labour market ; wages;

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  1. Stephen Nickell & D. Nicolitsas, 1994. "Wages," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 51644, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Krueger, Alan B, 1993. "How Computers Have Changed the Wage Structure: Evidence from Microdata, 1984-1989," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(1), pages 33-60, February.
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