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International economic activities and skilled labour demand: evidence from Brazil and China

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  • Pablo Fajnzylber
  • Ana Fernandes

Abstract

Using two new firm-level datasets, this article investigates the impact of three international economic activities - the use of imported inputs, exports and foreign direct investment - on skilled labour demand in Brazil and China. We find that Brazilian firms that engage in these activities exhibit a higher skilled labour demand than firms that do not. In contrast, Chinese firms that engage in these activities have a lower skilled labour demand than firms that do not. Thus, international economic activities act as a channel for skill-biased technology diffusion in Brazil but have an effect of specialization according to comparative advantage in unskilled labour-intensive goods in China.

Suggested Citation

  • Pablo Fajnzylber & Ana Fernandes, 2009. "International economic activities and skilled labour demand: evidence from Brazil and China," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(5), pages 563-577.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:41:y:2009:i:5:p:563-577
    DOI: 10.1080/00036840601007336
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong-Wha, 2001. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 541-563, July.
    2. Isgut, Alberto & Fernandes, Ana, 2007. "Learning-by-Exporting Effects: Are They for Real?," MPRA Paper 3121, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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