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A Macroeconomic perspective on skill shortages and the skill premium in New Zealand

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  • Razzak, Weshah
  • Timmins, Jason

Abstract

Qualification and occupation-based measures of skilled labour are constructed to explain the skill premium – the wage of skilled labour relative to unskilled labour in New Zealand. The data exhibit a more rapid growth in the supply of skilled labour than the skill premium, and a very large increase in the real minimum wage over the period from 1986 to 2005. We estimate the rate of increase in the relative demand for skills and the elasticity of substitution. The data are consistent with skill shortages and a skill-bias technical change. We examine the effects of the minimum wage, capital complementarity, and the exchange rate on the skill premium. We also test whether the demand for skills and the elasticity of substitution varied across industries and over time.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 1886.

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Date of creation: 08 Feb 2007
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:1886

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Keywords: Skill-bias technical change; skill premium; the exchange rate;

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References

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  1. Daron Acemoglu, 2001. "Directed Technical Change," NBER Working Papers 8287, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. E. Berman & J. Bound & S. Machin, 1997. "Implications of skill-biased technological change: international evidence," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20314, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Elliott, Graham, 1999. "Efficient Tests for a Unit Root When the Initial Observation Is Drawn from Its Unconditional Distribution," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(3), pages 767-83, August.
  4. Sarno, Lucio & Taylor, Mark P, 1997. "The Behaviour of Real Exchange Rates During the Post-Bretton Woods Period," CEPR Discussion Papers 1730, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. 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.
  6. Jeff Borland, 2000. "Economic Explanations of Earnings Distribution Trends in the International Literature and Application to New Zealand," Treasury Working Paper Series 00/16, New Zealand Treasury.
  7. Griliches, Zvi, 1969. "Capital-Skill Complementarity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(4), pages 465-68, November.
  8. W A Razzak, 2004. "Towards Building A New Consensus About New Zealand’s Productivity," GE, Growth, Math methods 0405002, EconWPA.
  9. Acemoglu, Daron, 1997. "Why Do New Technologies Complement Skills? Directed Technical Change and Wage Inequality," CEPR Discussion Papers 1707, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Phillips, P C B, 1987. "Time Series Regression with a Unit Root," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 277-301, March.
  11. David Card & Thomas Lemieux, 2000. "Can Falling Supply Explain the Rising Return to College for Younger Men? A Cohort-Based Analysis," NBER Working Papers 7655, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Jose Manuel Campa & Linda S. Goldberg, 2001. "Employment Versus Wage Adjustment And The U.S. Dollar," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(3), pages 477-489, August.
  13. Levin, Andrew & Lin, Chien-Fu & James Chu, Chia-Shang, 2002. "Unit root tests in panel data: asymptotic and finite-sample properties," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 1-24, May.
  14. Sarno, Lucio & Taylor, Mark P., 1998. "Real exchange rates under the recent float: unequivocal evidence of mean reversion," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 131-137, August.
  15. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1997. "Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed the Labor Market?," NBER Working Papers 5956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Thomas Lemieux, 2006. "Increasing Residual Wage Inequality: Composition Effects, Noisy Data, or Rising Demand for Skill?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 461-498, June.
  17. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2005. "Trends in U. S. Wage Inequality: Re-Assessing the Revisionists," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2095, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  18. Daron Acemoglu, 2000. "Technical Change, Inequality, and the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 7800, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Daron Acemoglu, 2001. "Human Capital Policies and the Distribution of Income: A Framework for Analysis and Literature Review," Treasury Working Paper Series 01/03, New Zealand Treasury.
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Cited by:
  1. Mok, Penny & Mason, Geoff & Stevens, Philip & Timmins, Jason, 2012. "A Good Worker is Hard to Find: Skills Shortages in New Zealand Firms," Occasional Papers 12/5, Ministry of Economic Development, New Zealand.

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