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Is There Skill-Biased Technological Change in Italian Manufacturing? Evidence from Firm-Level Data

  • Massimiliano BRATTI

    ()

    (Universit… di Milano, DEAS)

  • Nicola MATTEUCCI

    ([n.a.])

The bulk of literature finding support for the Skill-Biased Technological Change (SBTC) hypothesis has focused on the US and the UK, while evidence on other countries is "mixed". We use firm-level data to test for the presence of SBTC in Italian manufacturing. This is interesting since, as well known, Italy is a "late comer" country and stands as a follower in the realm of new technologies. We estimate employment-share equations and find evidence that the impact of R&D on the skill-ratio (the ratio between white collars and blue collars) varies across Pavitt sectors and according to destination of R&D. However, whenever evidence supporting SBTC (i.e. a positive impact on the skill-ratio) is found, it mainly operates through the reduction of unskilled workers. This can be easily reconciled with the structural features of Italian manufacturing where traditional sectors and small and medium sized firms prevail, innovative activity is scarce and mainly labour-saving and the capacity to absorb skilled labour rather limited.

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File URL: http://docs.dises.univpm.it/web/quaderni/pdf/202.pdf
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Paper provided by Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali in its series Working Papers with number 202.

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Length: 46
Date of creation: Jan 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:anc:wpaper:202
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  1. Eve Caroli & John Van Reenen, 2001. "Skill-Biased Organizational Change? Evidence From A Panel Of British And French Establishments," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1449-1492, November.
  2. Jacques Mairesse & Nathalie Greenan & Agnes Topiol-Bensaid, 2001. "Information Technology and Research and Development Impacts on Productivity and Skills: Looking for Correlations on French Firm Level Data," NBER Working Papers 8075, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 1999. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization and the Demand for Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7136, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Daron Acemoglu, 2000. "Technical Change, Inequality, and the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 7800, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Mariacristina Piva & Marco Vivarelli, 2002. "The Skill Bias: Comparative evidence and an econometric test," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(3), pages 347-357.
  6. Falk, Martin, 1999. "Technological innovations and the expected demand for skilled labour at the firm level," ZEW Discussion Papers 99-59, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  7. Paola CASAVOLA & Andréa GAVOSTO & Paolo SESTITO, 1996. "Technical Progres and Wage Dispersion in Italy: Evidence from Firm's Data," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 41-42, pages 387-412.
  8. Alessandro Sterlacchini, 1998. "Inputs And Outputs Of Innovative Activities In Italian Manufacturing," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(4), pages 323-344.
  9. David Card & John E. DiNardo, 2002. "Skill-Biased Technological Change and Rising Wage Inequality: Some Problems and Puzzles," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(4), pages 733-783, October.
  10. David, Paul A, 1990. "The Dynamo and the Computer: An Historical Perspective on the Modern Productivity Paradox," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 355-61, May.
  11. Dominique Goux & Eric Maurin, 2000. "The Decline In Demand For Unskilled Labor: An Empirical Analysis Method And Its Application To France," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(4), pages 596-607, November.
  12. Machin, Stephen, 2001. " The Changing Nature of Labour Demand in the New Economy and Skill-Biased Technology Change," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 63(0), pages 753-76, Special I.
  13. Mariacristina Piva & Marco Vivarelli, 2004. "The determinants of the skill bias in Italy: R&D, organisation or globalisation?," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(4), pages 329-347.
  14. Bound, John & Johnson, George, 1992. "Changes in the Structure of Wages in the 1980's: An Evaluation of Alternative Explanations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 371-92, June.
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