IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Technology and Firm Size-Wage Differentials in Colombia, Mexico, and Taiwan (China)


  • Tan, Hong
  • Batra, Geeta


In many economies, studies have found large wage differentials not accounted for by workforce characteristics, collective bargaining, or market power. Researchers attribute these differentials to either unobserved worker quality or pay incentives designed to elicit worker effort. This article finds empirical support for an alternative explanation: These wage differentials result from firms' technology-generating activities. Using firm-level data from Colombia, Mexico, and Taiwan (China), the article compares the effects of research and development, worker training, and exports by employers on the wages of skilled and unskilled workers. The results suggest that technology investments lead to large wage premiums for skilled workers but not for unskilled workers. These wage premiums are primarily the result of investments in research and development and in training, while exporting is relatively less important except in Colombia. Copyright 1997 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Tan, Hong & Batra, Geeta, 1997. "Technology and Firm Size-Wage Differentials in Colombia, Mexico, and Taiwan (China)," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 11(1), pages 59-83, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:wbecrv:v:11:y:1997:i:1:p:59-83

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hand, John R M & Holthausen, Robert W & Leftwich, Richard W, 1992. " The Effect of Bond Rating Agency Announcements on Bond and Stock Prices," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(2), pages 733-752, June.
    2. Dooley, Michael P, 2000. "A Model of Crises in Emerging Markets," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(460), pages 256-272, January.
    3. Guillermo A. Calvo & Leonardo Leiderman & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1993. "Capital Inflows and Real Exchange Rate Appreciation in Latin America: The Role of External Factors," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 40(1), pages 108-151, March.
    4. Kaminsky, Graciela & Lyons, Richard K. & Schmukler, Sergio L., 2004. "Managers, investors, and crises: mutual fund strategies in emerging markets," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 113-134, October.
    5. Graciela L. Kaminsky & Carmen Reinhart, 2003. "The Center and the Periphery: The Globalization of Financial Turmoil," NBER Working Papers 9479, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Kaminsky, Graciela L. & Reinhart, Carmen M., 2000. "On crises, contagion, and confusion," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 145-168, June.
    7. Giancarlo Corsetti & Paolo Pesenti & Nouriel Roubini & Cedric Tille, 1999. "Competitive devaluations: a welfare-based approach," Staff Reports 58, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    8. Barry Eichengreen & Ashoka Mody, 1998. "What Explains Changing Spreads on Emerging-Market Debt: Fundamentals or Market Sentiment?," NBER Working Papers 6408, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Reinhart, Carmen & Calvo, Guillermo & Leiderman, Leonardo, 1993. "“Capital Inflows and Real Exchange Rate Appreciation in Latin America: The Role of External Factors," MPRA Paper 7125, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Guillermo Larraín & Helmut Reisen & Julia von Maltzan, 1997. "Emerging Market Risk and Sovereign Credit Ratings," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 124, OECD Publishing.
    11. Frankel,Jeffrey A. & Schmukler,Sergio L. & Serven,Luis, 2000. "Global transmission of interest rates : monetary independence and the currency regime," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2424, The World Bank.
    12. Carmen M. Reinhart, 2002. "An Introduction," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 16(2), pages 149-150, August.
    13. McKinnon, Ronald I & Pill, Huw, 1997. "Credible Economic Liberalizations and Overborrowing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 189-193, May.
    14. Calvo, Guillermo A. & Mendoza, Enrique G., 2000. "Rational contagion and the globalization of securities markets," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 79-113, June.
    15. Steven B. Kamin & Karsten von Kleist, 1999. "The evolution and determinants of emerging market credit spreads in the 1990s," International Finance Discussion Papers 653, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    16. Reisen, Helmut & von Maltzan, Julia, 1999. "Boom and Bust and Sovereign Ratings," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(2), pages 273-293, July.
    17. G. Ferri & L.-G. Liu & J. E. Stiglitz, 1999. "The Procyclical Role of Rating Agencies: Evidence from the East Asian Crisis," Economic Notes, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA, vol. 28(3), pages 335-355, November.
    18. Anthony J. Richards & David Deddouche, 1999. "Bank Rating Changes and Bank Stock Returns—Puzzling Evidence from the Emerging Markets," IMF Working Papers 99/151, International Monetary Fund.
    19. Richard Cantor & Frank Packer, 1996. "Determinants and impact of sovereign credit ratings," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Oct, pages 37-53.
    20. Anderson, T. W. & Hsiao, Cheng, 1982. "Formulation and estimation of dynamic models using panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 47-82, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    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:oup:wbecrv:v:11:y:1997:i:1:p:59-83. 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: (Oxford University Press) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.

    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.