IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/dyncon/v139y2022ics0165188922001348.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Skill-biased technical change and labor market inefficiency

Author

Listed:
  • Battisti, Michele
  • Gatto, Massimo Del
  • Parmeter, Christopher F.

Abstract

The economic literature has so far produced limited (country-level) evidence on the magnitude of skill-biased technical change (SBTC), and has not yet investigated the extent to which, coupled with labor market imperfections, SBTC is associated with inefficient use of labor. We present a novel approach to estimate SBTC allowing for the presence of labor market inefficiency. Using data taken from the World Input-Output Database across 38 countries and 30 sectors, we provide the first country-sector evidence of SBTC during the 1995–2005 period and quantify the extent of economic inefficiency arising from labor market imperfections. On average, we find that the productivity of skilled workers grows by approximately 11.5% more than that of unskilled workers, mostly driven by SBTC (13.7%), rather than factor accumulation (−2.1%). Economic inefficiency decreases by 10.5% on average, and labor market rigidities are more binding in sectors that are more exposed to technological change. Substantial heterogeneity is also observed.

Suggested Citation

  • Battisti, Michele & Gatto, Massimo Del & Parmeter, Christopher F., 2022. "Skill-biased technical change and labor market inefficiency," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 139(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:139:y:2022:i:c:s0165188922001348
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jedc.2022.104428
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165188922001348
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.jedc.2022.104428?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Erik Brynjolfsson & Daniel Rock & Chad Syverson, 2021. "The Productivity J-Curve: How Intangibles Complement General Purpose Technologies," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 13(1), pages 333-372, January.
    2. Caselli, Francesco, 2005. "Accounting for Cross-Country Income Differences," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 9, pages 679-741, Elsevier.
    3. Joseph Zeira, 1998. "Workers, Machines, and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1091-1117.
    4. David Card, 1992. "The Effect of Unions on the Distribution of Wages: Redistribution or Relabelling?," NBER Working Papers 4195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Sara Calligaris & Massimo Del Gatto & Fadi Hassan & Gianmarco I P Ottaviano & Fabiano Schivardi & Tommaso MonacelliManaging Editor, 2018. "The productivity puzzle and misallocation: an Italian perspective," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 33(96), pages 635-684.
    6. Jaehyuk Park & Ian Wood & Elise Jing & Azadeh Nematzadeh & Souvik Ghosh & Michael Conover & Yong-Yeol Ahn, 2019. "Global labor flow network reveals the hierarchical organization and dynamics of geo-industrial clusters in the world economy," Papers 1902.04613, arXiv.org, revised Mar 2019.
    7. Robert C. Feenstra & Robert Inklaar & Marcel P. Timmer, 2015. "The Next Generation of the Penn World Table," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(10), pages 3150-3182, October.
    8. DiNardo, John & Fortin, Nicole M & Lemieux, Thomas, 1996. "Labor Market Institutions and the Distribution of Wages, 1973-1992: A Semiparametric Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1001-1044, September.
    9. David Card & Thomas Lemieux & W. Craig Riddell, 2020. "Unions and wage inequality: The roles of gender, skill and public sector employment," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 53(1), pages 140-173, February.
    10. David Card & Thomas Lemieux, 2001. "Can Falling Supply Explain the Rising Return to College for Younger Men? A Cohort-Based Analysis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 705-746.
    11. Neffke, Frank M.H. & Otto, Anne & Weyh, Antje, 2017. "Inter-industry labor flows," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 142(C), pages 275-292.
    12. David Rezza Baqaee & Emmanuel Farhi, 2020. "Productivity and Misallocation in General Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 135(1), pages 105-163.
    13. Brent Neiman, 2014. "The Global Decline of the Labor Share," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(1), pages 61-103.
    14. William Blankenau & Steven Cassou, 2011. "Industry estimates of the elasticity of substitution and the rate of biased technological change between skilled and unskilled labour," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(23), pages 3129-3142.
    15. Su, Liangjun & Ullah, Aman, 2008. "Local polynomial estimation of nonparametric simultaneous equations models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 193-218, May.
    16. Ulrich Doraszelski & Jordi Jaumandreu, 2018. "Measuring the Bias of Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 126(3), pages 1027-1084.
    17. Daniele Checchi & Cecilia García‐Peñalosa, 2010. "Labour Market Institutions and the Personal Distribution of Income in the OECD," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 77(307), pages 413-450, July.
    18. David H. Autor & Alan Manning & Christopher L. Smith, 2016. "The Contribution of the Minimum Wage to US Wage Inequality over Three Decades: A Reassessment," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 58-99, January.
    19. 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.
    20. Machin, Stephen, 1997. "The decline of labour market institutions and the rise in wage inequality in Britain," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 647-657, April.
    21. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Peter J. Klenow, 2009. "Misallocation and Manufacturing TFP in China and India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1403-1448.
    22. Jaehyuk Park & Ian B. Wood & Elise Jing & Azadeh Nematzadeh & Souvik Ghosh & Michael D. Conover & Yong-Yeol Ahn, 2019. "Global labor flow network reveals the hierarchical organization and dynamics of geo-industrial clusters," Nature Communications, Nature, vol. 10(1), pages 1-10, December.
    23. Acemoglu, Daron & Aghion, Philippe & Violante, Giovanni L., 2001. "Deunionization, technical change and inequality," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 229-264, December.
    24. François Bourguignon & Christian Morrisson, 2002. "Inequality Among World Citizens: 1820-1992," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 727-744, September.
    25. Alberto Alesina & Michele Battisti & Joseph Zeira, 2018. "Technology and labor regulations: theory and evidence," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 41-78, March.
    26. Federico Rossi, 2019. "The Relative Efficiency of Skilled Labor across Countries: Measurement and Interpretation," 2019 Meeting Papers 829, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    27. Branko Milanovic, 2012. "Global inequality recalculated and updated: the effect of new PPP estimates on global inequality and 2005 estimates," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 10(1), pages 1-18, March.
    28. Freeman, Richard B, 1993. "Labor Markets and Institutions in Economic Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 403-408, May.
    29. Winfried Koeniger & Marco Leonardi, 2007. "Capital deepening and wage differentials: Germany versus US [‘Technical change, inequality, and the labor market’]," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 22(49), pages 72-116.
    30. Henderson,Daniel J. & Parmeter,Christopher F., 2015. "Applied Nonparametric Econometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521279680, December.
    31. Maarten Goos & Alan Manning & Anna Salomons, 2014. "Explaining Job Polarization: Routine-Biased Technological Change and Offshoring," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(8), pages 2509-2526, August.
    32. 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.
    33. Diego Restuccia & Richard Rogerson, 2008. "Policy Distortions and Aggregate Productivity with Heterogeneous Plants," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(4), pages 707-720, October.
    34. Antonio Ciccone & Elias Papaioannou, 2016. "Estimating Cross-Industry Cross-Country Interaction Models Using Benchmark Industry Characteristics," NBER Working Papers 22368, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    35. Caselli, Francesco, 2005. "Accounting for cross-country income differences," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 5266, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    36. Eric Bartelsman & John Haltiwanger & Stefano Scarpetta, 2013. "Cross-Country Differences in Productivity: The Role of Allocation and Selection," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(1), pages 305-334, February.
    37. Per Krusell & Lee E. Ohanian & JosÈ-Victor RÌos-Rull & Giovanni L. Violante, 2000. "Capital-Skill Complementarity and Inequality: A Macroeconomic Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1029-1054, September.
    38. Acemoglu, Daron & Autor, David, 2011. "Skills, Tasks and Technologies: Implications for Employment and Earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 12, pages 1043-1171, Elsevier.
    39. Pedro Carneiro & Sokbae Lee, 2011. "Trends in Quality-Adjusted Skill Premia in the United States, 1960-2000," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2309-2349, October.
    40. Thomas Lemieux, 2008. "The changing nature of wage inequality," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 21(1), pages 21-48, January.
    41. Marcel P. Timmer & Erik Dietzenbacher & Bart Los & Robert Stehrer & Gaaitzen J. Vries, 2015. "An Illustrated User Guide to the World Input–Output Database: the Case of Global Automotive Production," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(3), pages 575-605, August.
    42. Diego Restuccia & Richard Rogerson, 2013. "Misallocation and productivity," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(1), pages 1-10, January.
    43. Francesco Caselli, 1999. "Technological Revolutions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 78-102, March.
    44. Daron Acemoglu, 2002. "Directed Technical Change," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 781-809.
    45. P. M. Robinson, 1983. "Nonparametric Estimators For Time Series," Journal of Time Series Analysis, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(3), pages 185-207, May.
    46. Levy, Frank & Murnane, Richard J, 1992. "U.S. Earnings Levels and Earnings Inequality: A Review of Recent Trends and Proposed Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1333-1381, September.
    47. Gueorgui Kambourov & Iourii Manovskii, 2008. "Rising Occupational And Industry Mobility In The United States: 1968-97," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(1), pages 41-79, February.
    48. Richard B. Freeman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1995. "Differences and Changes in Wage Structures," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free95-1, January.
    49. Daniele Checchi & Cecilia García-Peñalosa, 2008. "Labour market institutions and income inequality [‘Globalisation and the great U-turn: Income inequality trends in 16 OECD countries’]," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 23(56), pages 602-649.
    50. Caselli, Francesco, 2005. "Accounting for cross-country income differences," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3567, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    51. Francesco Caselli & Wilbur John Coleman II, 2006. "The World Technology Frontier," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 499-522, June.
    52. Neil Foster-McGregor & Johannes Pöschl, 2009. "The Importance of Labour Mobility for Spillovers across Industries," wiiw Working Papers 58, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    53. Cong Li & Desheng Ouyang & Jeffrey Racine, 2009. "Nonparametric regression with weakly dependent data: the discrete and continuous regressor case," Journal of Nonparametric Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(6), pages 697-711.
    54. Daniel J. Henderson, 2009. "A Non‐parametric Examination of Capital–Skill Complementarity," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 71(4), pages 519-538, August.
    55. David S. Lee, 1999. "Wage Inequality in the United States During the 1980s: Rising Dispersion or Falling Minimum Wage?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 977-1023.
    56. Michele Battisti & Massimo Del Gatto & Christopher F. Parmeter, 2018. "Labor productivity growth: disentangling technology and capital accumulation," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 111-143, March.
    57. Freeman, Richard B. & Katz, Lawrence F. (ed.), 1995. "Differences and Changes in Wage Structures," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226261607, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Jones, C.I., 2016. "The Facts of Economic Growth," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 3-69, Elsevier.
    2. Salverda, Wiemer & Checchi, Daniele, 2014. "Labour-Market Institutions and the Dispersion of Wage Earnings," IZA Discussion Papers 8220, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. M. Battisti & M. Del Gatto & A. F. Gravina & C. F. Parmeter, 2021. "Robots versus labor skills: a complementarity/substitutability analysis," Working Paper CRENoS 202104, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
    4. Michael Chletsos & Stelios Roupakias, 2020. "Education and wage inequality before and during the fiscal crisis: A quantile regression analysis for Greece 2006–2016," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(4), pages 1333-1364, November.
    5. Florian Brugger & Christian Gehrke, 2017. "The Neoclassical Approach to Induced Technical Change: From Hicks to Acemoglu," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(4), pages 730-776, November.
    6. David Hémous & Morten Olsen, 2022. "The Rise of the Machines: Automation, Horizontal Innovation, and Income Inequality," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 179-223, January.
    7. T. Gries & R. Grundmann & I. Palnau & M. Redlin, 2017. "Innovations, growth and participation in advanced economies - a review of major concepts and findings," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 293-351, April.
    8. Jerzmanowski, Michal & Tamura, Robert, 2019. "Directed technological change & cross-country income differences: A quantitative analysis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 141(C).
    9. Dirk Antonczyk & Thomas DeLeire & Bernd Fitzenberger, 2018. "Polarization and Rising Wage Inequality: Comparing the U.S. and Germany," Econometrics, MDPI, vol. 6(2), pages 1-33, April.
    10. Zsófia L. Bárány, 2016. "The Minimum Wage and Inequality: The Effects of Education and Technology," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(1), pages 237-274.
    11. repec:hal:spmain:info:hdl:2441/4jgjdlef848r49dq2dv8go26r7 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Acemoglu, Daron & Autor, David, 2011. "Skills, Tasks and Technologies: Implications for Employment and Earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 12, pages 1043-1171, Elsevier.
    13. Zsofia Barany & Christian Siegel, 2021. "Engines of sectoral labor productivity growth," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 39, pages 304-343, January.
    14. Michael Knoblach & Fabian Stöckl, 2020. "What Determines The Elasticity Of Substitution Between Capital And Labor? A Literature Review," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(4), pages 847-875, September.
    15. Ariell Reshef, 2013. "Is Technological Change Biased Towards the Unskilled in Services? An Empirical Investigation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(2), pages 312-331, April.
    16. Peng, Fei & Anwar, Sajid & Kang, Lili, 2017. "New technology and old institutions: An empirical analysis of the skill-biased demand for older workers in Europe," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 1-19.
    17. repec:hal:spmain:info:hdl:2441/eu4vqp9ompqllr09i8hjg0kpi is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Anderton, Robert & Jarvis, Valerie & Labhard, Vincent & Morgan, Julian & Petroulakis, Filippos & Vivian, Lara, 2020. "Virtually everywhere? Digitalisation and the euro area and EU economies," Occasional Paper Series 244, European Central Bank.
    19. Diego Restuccia, 2019. "Misallocation and aggregate productivity across time and space," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 52(1), pages 5-32, February.
    20. Nezih Guner & Andrii Parkhomenko & Gustavo Ventura, 2018. "Managers and Productivity Differences," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 29, pages 256-282, July.
    21. Hansen, G.D. & Ohanian, L.E., 2016. "Neoclassical Models in Macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 2043-2130, Elsevier.
    22. Caselli, Francesco & Ciccone, Antonio, 2013. "The contribution of schooling in development accounting: Results from a nonparametric upper bound," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 199-211.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Skill-biased technical change; Technological progress; Production function estimation; Wage premium;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:139:y:2022:i:c:s0165188922001348. 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: . General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jedc .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jedc .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.