IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Is there skilled-biased technological change in Italian manufacturing? Evidence from firm-level data

  • Massimiliano Bratti
  • Nicola Matteucci

The bulk of the literature on the Skill-Biased Technological Change (SBTC) hypothesis has focused on the US and the UK, while evidence on other countries is ‘mixed’. We use firm-level data to test for the presence of SBTC in Italian manufacturing. The interest stems from the fact that Italy is a “late comer” country, suffers a gap in new technologies and has a ‘rigid’ labour market. We estimate employment-share equations using as a skill-ratio two alternative measures, the ratio between white collars and blue collars (WC/BC) and that between graduates and non-graduates (G/NG). We find an unconventional evidence supporting SBTC. First, with the most traditional indicator (WC/BC), a significant effect of R&D is only found when the latter is disaggregated by destination: SBTC mainly runs via process-oriented R&D. Instead, a significant impact of R&D on the skill-ratio is always uncovered with G/NG. Further disaggregations confirm that the impact of R&D is mainly due to incremental process-oriented activities. These results can be easily reconciled with the structural characteristics of Italian manufacturing, where traditional sectors and small and medium sized firms prevail, innovative activities are mainly incremental and the capacity to absorb skilled labour rather limited.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/11995/1/ber-0326.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Article provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its journal Brussels economic review.

Volume (Year): 48 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1-2 ()
Pages: 153-182

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:bxr:bxrceb:y:2005:v:48:i:1-2:p:153-182
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://difusion.ulb.ac.be

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Mariacristina Piva & Marco Vivarelli, 2004. "The determinants of the skill bias in Italy: R&D, organisation or globalisation?," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(4), pages 329-347.
  2. Jacques Mairesse & Nathalie Greenan & Agnes Topiol-Bensaid, 2001. "Information Technology and Research and Development Impacts on Productivity and Skills: Looking for Correlations on French Firm Level Data," NBER Working Papers 8075, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 1999. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization and the Demand for Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7136, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Caroli, Eve & Van Reenen, John, 1999. "Skill biased organizational change? Evidence from a panel of British and French establishments," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9917, CEPREMAP.
  5. David Card & John E. DiNardo, 2002. "Skill-Biased Technological Change and Rising Wage Inequality: Some Problems and Puzzles," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(4), pages 733-783, October.
  6. David, Paul A, 1990. "The Dynamo and the Computer: An Historical Perspective on the Modern Productivity Paradox," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 355-61, May.
  7. 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.
  8. Falk, Martin, 1999. "Technological innovations and the expected demand for skilled labour at the firm level," ZEW Discussion Papers 99-59, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  9. Daron Acemoglu, 2002. "Technical Change, Inequality, and the Labor Market," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(1), pages 7-72, March.
  10. Alessandro Sterlacchini, 1998. "Inputs And Outputs Of Innovative Activities In Italian Manufacturing," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(4), pages 323-344.
  11. Machin, Stephen, 2001. " The Changing Nature of Labour Demand in the New Economy and Skill-Biased Technology Change," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 63(0), pages 753-76, Special I.
  12. Bound, John & Johnson, George, 1992. "Changes in the Structure of Wages in the 1980's: An Evaluation of Alternative Explanations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 371-92, June.
  13. Mariacristina Piva & Marco Vivarelli, 2002. "The Skill Bias: Comparative evidence and an econometric test," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(3), pages 347-357.
  14. Dominique Goux & Eric Maurin, 2000. "The Decline In Demand For Unskilled Labor: An Empirical Analysis Method And Its Application To France," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(4), pages 596-607, November.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bxr:bxrceb:y:2005:v:48:i:1-2:p:153-182. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Benoit Pauwels)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.