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Wage Inequality, Employment Structure and Skill-biased Change in Italy

  • Paolo Naticchioni
  • Andrea Ricci
  • Emiliano Rustichelli

This paper investigates empirically the relation between wage inequality, employment structure, and skill-biased change in Italy between 1993 and 2004. Applying quantile decomposition analysis, we point out that changes in wage inequality are mainly driven by a decrease in educational premia over time, whereas changes in employment structure play a negligible role. This evidence suggests that changes in wage inequality in Italy can hardly be interpreted in terms of a skill-biased change, and the evidence is further reinforced by a set of descriptive statistics showing that the increasing educational attainments of the workforce might have been crowded out by a stable trend in the demand for skills. Copyright 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation CEIS, Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini and Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2008.

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Article provided by CEIS in its journal LABOUR.

Volume (Year): 22 (2008)
Issue (Month): s1 (06)
Pages: 27-51

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Handle: RePEc:bla:labour:v:22:y:2008:i:s1:p:27-51
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  1. Peracchi, Franco, 2006. "Educational Wage Premia and the Distribution of Earnings: An International Perspective," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
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  3. Massimiliano Bratti & Nicola Matteucci, 2005. "Is there skilled-biased technological change in Italian manufacturing? Evidence from firm-level data," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 48(1-2), pages 153-182.
  4. Alessia Matano & Paolo Naticchioni, 2008. "Trade and wage inequality: Local versus Global comparative advantages," Working Papers - Dipartimento di Economia 6-DEISFOL, Dipartimento di Economia, Sapienza University of Rome, revised 2008.
  5. Paola CASAVOLA & Andréa GAVOSTO & Paolo SESTITO, 1996. "Technical Progres and Wage Dispersion in Italy: Evidence from Firm's Data," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 41-42, pages 387-412.
  6. Omar Arias & Walter Sosa-Escudero & Kevin F. Hallock, 2001. "Individual heterogeneity in the returns to schooling: instrumental variables quantile regression using twins data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 7-40.
  7. Martins, Pedro S. & Pereira, Pedro T., 2004. "Does education reduce wage inequality? Quantile regression evidence from 16 countries," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 355-371, June.
  8. Dustmann, Christian & Ludsteck, Johannes & Schönberg, Uta, 2007. "Revisiting the German Wage Structure," IZA Discussion Papers 2685, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Andrea Brandolini & Piero Cipollone & Paolo Sestito, 2001. "Earnings Dispersion, Low Pay and Household Poverty in Italy, 1977-1998," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 427, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  10. Maarten Goos & Alan Manning, 2007. "Lousy and Lovely Jobs: The Rising Polarization of Work in Britain," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 118-133, February.
  11. Brunello, Giorgio & Miniaci, Raffaele, 1999. "The economic returns to schooling for Italian men. An evaluation based on instrumental variables1," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 509-519, November.
  12. Barth, Erling & Lucifora, Claudio, 2006. "Wage Dispersion, Markets and Institutions: The Effects of the Boom in Education on the Wage Structure," IZA Discussion Papers 2181, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. repec:rtv:ceiswp:260 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2005. "Rising Wage Inequality: The Role of Composition and Prices," NBER Working Papers 11628, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Melly, Blaise, 2005. "Decomposition of differences in distribution using quantile regression," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 577-590, August.
  16. Gary Burtless, 1995. "International Trade and the Rise in Earnings Inequality," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(2), pages 800-816, June.
  17. Lilla Marco, 2005. "Disuguaglianze salariali in Italia: nuove evidenze dai microdati SHIW," Politica economica - Journal of Economic Policy (PEJEP), Società editrice il Mulino, issue 1, pages 71-102.
  18. Paolo Naticchioni & Andrea Ricci & Emiliano Rustichelli, 2010. "Far away from a skill-biased change: falling educational wage premia in Italy," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(26), pages 3383-3400.
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