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Trade, Technology and U.K. Wage Inequality

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  • Jonathan Haskel
  • Matthew J. Slaughter

Abstract

The U.K. skill premium fell from the 1950s to the late 1970s and then rose very sharply. This paper examines the contributions to these relative wage movements of international trade and technical change. We first measure trade as changes in product prices and technical change as TFP growth. Then we relate price and TFP changes to a set of underlying factors. Among a number of results, we find that changes in prices, not TFP, were the major force behind the rise in inequality in the 1980s. We also find that although increased trade pressure has raised technical change, its effect on wage inequality was not quantitatively significant.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6978.

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Date of creation: Feb 1999
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Publication status: published as Haskel, Jonathan and Matthew J. Slaughter. "Teade, Technology And U.K. Wage Inequality," Economic Journal, 2001, v111(468,Jan), 163-187.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6978

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  1. Stephen Machin & John Van Reenen, 1998. "Technology And Changes In Skill Structure: Evidence From Seven Oecd Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1215-1244, November.
  2. Nickell, Stephen J, 1996. "Competition and Corporate Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 724-46, August.
  3. Jonathan E. Haskel & Matthew J. Slaughter, 1998. "Does the Sector Bias of Skill-Biased Technical Change Explain Changing Wage Inequality?," NBER Working Papers 6565, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Stephen Machin, 1995. "Changes in the Relative Demand for Skills in the UK Labour Market," CEP Discussion Papers dp0221, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. Desjonqueres, Thibaut & Machin, Stephen & Van Reenen, John, 1999. " Another Nail in the Coffin? Or Can the Trade Based Explanation of Changing Skill Structures Be Resurrected?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 101(4), pages 533-54, December.
  6. Adrian Wood, 1995. "How Trade Hurt Unskilled Workers," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 57-80, Summer.
  7. Wood, Adrian, 1998. "Globalisation and the Rise in Labour Market Inequalities," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(450), pages 1463-82, September.
  8. Wood, Adrian, 1995. "North-South Trade, Employment and Inequality: Changing Fortunes in a Skill-Driven World," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198290155, September.
  9. Berman, Eli & Bound, John & Griliches, Zvi, 1994. "Changes in the Demand for Skilled Labor within U.S. Manufacturing: Evidence from the Annual Survey of Manufactures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(2), pages 367-97, May.
  10. Hakura, D. & Deardorff, A.V., 1993. "Trade and Wages: What Are the Questions?," Working Papers 341, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  11. Edward E. Leamer & James Levinsohn, 1994. "International Trade Theory: The Evidence," NBER Working Papers 4940, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Paul Geroski & Steve Machin & John Van Reenen, 1993. "The Profitability of Innovating Firms," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 24(2), pages 198-211, Summer.
  13. Damien NEVEN. & Charles WYPLOSZ, 1996. "Relative Prices, Trade and Restructuring in European Industry," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 9615, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
  14. Robert E. Baldwin & Glen G. Cain, 1997. "Shifts in U.S. Relative Wages: The Role of Trade, Technology and Factor Endowments," NBER Working Papers 5934, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Edward E. Leamer, 1996. "In Search of Stolper-Samuelson Effects on U.S. Wages," NBER Working Papers 5427, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Richard B. Freeman, 1995. "Are Your Wages Set in Beijing?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 15-32, Summer.
  17. Haskel, Jonathan, 1991. "Imperfect Competition, Work Practices and Productivity Growth," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 53(3), pages 265-79, August.
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