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Technological change and wage premium in a small open economy: the case of Korea


  • Kang-Shik Choi
  • Jinook Jeong


The aim of this study is to analyse the relationship between technological change and the educational wage premium in Korea. The main findings are as follows. First, the changes in educational wage premium were mostly affected by shifts in the supply of college graduates from 1983 to 1993 while the changes were affected more by the shifts in labour demand from 1993 to 2000. Second, the educational wage premium is greater in the industries with rapid technological change than in the industries with slower technological change. Third, the educational wage premium associated with the technological change is mostly explained by the returns to worker's unobserved heterogeneities, which is correlated with education, rather than the returns to education per se. Finally, there are some evidences that skill biased technologies are developed as the number of skilled workers are increasing.

Suggested Citation

  • Kang-Shik Choi & Jinook Jeong, 2005. "Technological change and wage premium in a small open economy: the case of Korea," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(1), pages 119-131.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:37:y:2005:i:1:p:119-131
    DOI: 10.1080/0003684042000290147

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Eli Bekman & John Bound & Stephen Machin, 1998. "Implications of Skill-Biased Technological Change: International Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1245-1279.
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    3. Ann P. Bartel & Nachum Sicherman, 1999. "Technological Change and Wages: An Interindustry Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(2), pages 285-325, April.
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    5. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2002. "International Labor Economics," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(4), pages 709-732, October.
    6. Edward E. Leamer, 1994. "Trade, Wages and Revolving Door Ideas," NBER Working Papers 4716, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. John E. DiNardo & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 1997. "The Returns to Computer Use Revisited: Have Pencils Changed the Wage Structure Too?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 291-303.
    8. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-442, June.
    9. Serrano, Lorenzo & Timmer, Marcel P., 2002. "Is technical change directed by the supply of skills?: The case of South Korea," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 289-293, July.
    10. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1998. "Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed the Labor Market?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1169-1213.
    11. Entorf, Horst & Kramarz, Francis, 1997. "Does unmeasured ability explain the higher wages of new technology workers?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(8), pages 1489-1509, August.
    12. Chennells, Lucy & Van Reenen, John, 1997. "Technical Change and Earnings in British Establishments," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 64(256), pages 587-604, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Oscar Afonso, 2006. "Skill-biased technological knowledge without scale effects," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(1), pages 13-21.
    2. Jin-Long Liu & Chia-Hui Huang & Chih-Hai Yang, 2013. "Technological Change, Job Risk, and Wage Premium: Evidence from Taiwan," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 51(2), pages 186-202, June.
    3. Afonso, Oscar & Silva, Armando, 2012. "Non-scale endogenous growth effects of subsidies for exporters," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 1248-1257.
    4. Yen, Meng-Feng, 2013. "The Wage Premium and Market Structure: The Case of South Korea and Taiwan," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 151292, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    5. Gabriel Montes Rojas, 2006. "Skill premia in Mexico: demand and supply factors," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(14), pages 917-924.

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