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Imports and the demand for skilled and unskilled labour: the Australian experience


  • Huy Quang Vu

    () (RMIT University, Vietnam)


This paper employs a unit cost function to investigate the impacts of aggregate imports on the demand for skilled and unskilled labour in Australia. Similar to Tombazos (1999b), I use a model that focuses on the displacement effects of the Stolper-Samuelson variety, as well as recognizes the domestic factor-using downstream processes of imports. Contrary to the notion imports hurt unskilled workers, the results of this study suggest that imports overall may stimulate unskilled labour demand. Earnings dispersion between skilled and unskilled labour would have been greater without the occurrence of imports.

Suggested Citation

  • Huy Quang Vu, 2012. "Imports and the demand for skilled and unskilled labour: the Australian experience," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 15(1), pages 37-55.
  • Handle: RePEc:ozl:journl:v:15:y:2012:i:1:p:37-55

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. James Giesecke & G.A. Meagher, 2008. "Modelling the Economic Effects of Population Ageing," Centre of Policy Studies/IMPACT Centre Working Papers g-172, Victoria University, Centre of Policy Studies/IMPACT Centre.
    2. Shah, C & Burke, G, 2005. "Skills Shortages: Concepts, Measurement and Policy Responses," Australian Bulletin of Labour, National Institute of Labour Studies, vol. 31(1), pages 44-71.
    3. Peter B. Dixon & Maureen T. Rimmer, 2006. "The Displacement Effect of Labour-Market Programs: MONASH Analysis," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 82(s1), pages 26-40, September.
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    More about this item


    Labor Market Interactions; Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials; Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance;

    JEL classification:

    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • F40 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - General


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