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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. Daron Acemoglu, 1999. "Patterns of Skill Premia," NBER Working Papers 7018, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Adriaan Ten Kate, 1989. "Notas Sobre La Apertura Comercial De Mexico, Experiencias Y Lecciones," ENSAYOS SOBRE POLÍTICA ECONÓMICA, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA - ESPE.
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  4. Feenstra, Robert C. & Hanson, Gordon H., 1997. "Foreign direct investment and relative wages: Evidence from Mexico's maquiladoras," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-4), pages 371-393, May.
  5. Terra, Maria Cristina T. & Gonzaga, Gustavo & Menezes Filho, Naércio Aquino, 2002. "Trade Liberalization and the Evolution of Skill Earnings Differentials in Brazil," Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 457, FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
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  8. Eric Verhoogen, 2007. "Trade, quality upgrading and wage inequality in the Mexican manufacturing sector," Discussion Papers 0607-08, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
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  12. Berman, Eli & Bound, John & Griliches, Zvi, 1994. "Changes in the Demand for Skilled Labor within U.S. Manufacturing: Evidence from the Annual Survey of Manufactures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(2), pages 367-97, May.
  13. Daron Acemoglu, 2002. "Technical Change, Inequality, and the Labor Market," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(1), pages 7-72, March.
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  15. Gordon H. Hanson & Ann Harrison, 1999. "Trade liberalization and wage inequality in Mexico," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 52(2), pages 271-288, January.
  16. Gonzague Vannoorenberghe, 2011. "Trade between symmetric countries, heterogeneous firms, and the skill premium," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 44(1), pages 148-170, February.
  17. Ariel Burstein & Jonathan Vogel, 2010. "Globalization, Technology, and the Skill Premium: A Quantitative Analysis," NBER Working Papers 16459, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. David Atkin, 2012. "Endogenous Skill Acquisition and Export Manufacturing in Mexico," NBER Working Papers 18266, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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