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Trade, skill-biased technical change and wages in Mexican manufacturing

  • Mauro Caselli

This article looks at the relative importance of competing stories, particularly trade liberalization and skill-biased technical change, to explain changes in the skill premium and the real wages of unskilled and skilled workers in Mexican manufacturing using plant-level data. The channel through which technical change is observed is changes in the domestic price of machinery and equipment due to the availability of new and cheaper machines. The analysis also looks at trade-induced skill-biased technical change by taking into account changes in the price of machinery and equipment caused by changes in the tariff rate specific to machinery and equipment. Instrumental variables, including the price of machinery and equipment in the United States, are used to determine causality between the above effects and wages. Thus, the article provides evidence for some recent findings in the literature that link trade liberalization, skill-biased technical change occurring through technology embodied in machines and increases in the skill premium.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1080/00036846.2013.848033
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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 46 (2014)
Issue (Month): 3 (January)
Pages: 336-348

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Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:46:y:2014:i:3:p:336-348
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  1. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1995. "Foreign Direct Investment and Relative Wages: Evidence from Mexico's Maquiladoras," NBER Working Papers 5122, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  3. Adriaan Ten Kate, 1989. "Notas Sobre La Apertura Comercial De Mexico, Experiencias Y Lecciones," ENSAYOS SOBRE POLÍTICA ECONÓMICA, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA - ESPE, vol. 8(15), pages 95-111, June.
  4. Andrew B. Bernard & Stephen Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2004. "Comparative advantage and heterogeneous firms," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3700, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Eric A. Verhoogen, 2008. "Trade, Quality Upgrading, and Wage Inequality in the Mexican Manufacturing Sector," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 489-530.
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  7. Gustavo Gonzaga & Naércio Menezes Filho & Maria Cristina Terra, 2005. "Trade liberalization and the evolution of skill earnings differentials in Brazil," Textos para discussão 503, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
  8. Eli Berman & John Bound & Zvi Griliches, 1994. "Changes in the Demand for Skilled Labor within U. S. Manufacturing: Evidence from the Annual Survey of Manufactures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 367-397.
  9. Daron Acemoglu, 2000. "Technical Change, Inequality, and the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 7800, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Elena Meschi & Erol Taymaz & Marco Vivarelli, 2009. "Trade, Technology and Skills: Evidence from Turkish Microdata," Jena Economic Research Papers 2009-097, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
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  13. Ariel Burstein & Jonathan Vogel, 2010. "Globalization, Technology, and the Skill Premium: A Quantitative Analysis," NBER Working Papers 16459, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Andrew Bernard & Stephen Redding & Peter Schott, 2009. "Multi-Product Firms and Trade Liberalization," Working Papers 09-21, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  15. Esquivel, Gerardo & Rodriguez-Lopez, Jose Antonio, 2003. "Technology, trade, and wage inequality in Mexico before and after NAFTA," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 543-565, December.
  16. Gordon H. Hanson & Ann Harrison, 1999. "Trade Liberalization and Wage Inequality in Mexico," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 52(2), pages 271-288, January.
  17. Mary Amiti & Jozef Konings, 2007. "Trade Liberalization, Intermediate Inputs, and Productivity: Evidence from Indonesia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1611-1638, December.
  18. Alberto Behar, 2009. "Directed technical change, the elasticity of substitution and wage inequality in developing countries," Economics Series Working Papers 467, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
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  21. David Atkin, 2010. "Endogenous Skill Acquisition and Export Manufacturing in Mexico," Working Papers id:2506, eSocialSciences.
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