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

  • Tan, Hong
  • Batra, Geeta
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    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.

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    Article provided by World Bank Group in its journal World Bank Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): 11 (1997)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 59-83

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    Handle: RePEc:oup:wbecrv:v:11:y:1997:i:1:p:59-83
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