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Technical Change and Polarization of the Labor Market: Evidence for Brazil, Colombia and Mexico

  • Carlos Medina

    ()

  • Christian Posso

    ()

We use occupations descriptions for Brazil, Colombia and Mexico, to build computer-use related tasks intensities, and link then to series of cross sections of data of each country in order to empirically assess to what extent the observed empirical regularities, and the reallocation of workers across occupations that require different tasks intensities, are consistent with the SBTC or polarization models. We find an increase of both wages and workers at the extremes of the wage or skills occupations distribution, the less routinaire/computerizabe, particularly pronounced in the period since personal computers began to be introduced in the region. This finding, along with other empirical regularities, provides support for some of the main implications of the polarization model in the cases of Colombia and Mexico.

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Paper provided by Banco de la Republica de Colombia in its series Borradores de Economia with number 614.

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Handle: RePEc:bdr:borrec:614
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  1. Christian Manuel Posso, 2010. "Desigualdad salarial en Colombia 1984-2005: cambios en la composición del mercado laboral y retornos a la educación post-secundaria," REVISTA DESARROLLO Y SOCIEDAD, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  2. Mauricio Cardenas & Raquel Bernal, 2004. "Determinants of Labor Demand in Colombia. 1976-1996," NBER Chapters, in: Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean, pages 229-272 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Giovanni Peri & Chad Sparber, 2009. "Task Specialization, Immigration and Wages," Working Papers 91, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  4. Per Krusell & Lee E. Ohanian & JosÈ-Victor RÌos-Rull & Giovanni L. Violante, 2000. "Capital-Skill Complementarity and Inequality: A Macroeconomic Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1029-1054, September.
  5. Luis Eduardo Arango & Carlos Esteban Posada & José Darío Uribe, 2004. "Cambios en la Estructura de los Salarios Urbanos en Colombia (1984-2000)," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 002088, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
  6. Robert J. Gordon & Ian Dew-Becker, 2008. "Controversies about the Rise of American Inequality: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 13982, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Lawrence F. Katz & Kevin M. Murphy, 1991. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963-1987: Supply and Demand Factors," NBER Working Papers 3927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Steven J. Davis, 1992. "Cross-Country Patterns of Change in Relative Wages," NBER Working Papers 4085, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2006. "The Polarization of the U.S. Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 189-194, May.
  10. Kevin M. Murphy & W. Craig Riddell & Paul M. Romer, 1998. "Wages, Skills, and Technology in the United States and Canada," NBER Working Papers 6638, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Maarten Goos & Alan Manning, 2003. "Lousy and Lovely Jobs: the Rising Polarization of Work in Britain," CEP Discussion Papers dp0604, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  12. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2000. "Ability-Biased Technological Transition, Wage Inequality, And Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(2), pages 469-497, May.
  13. Carlos Medina & Christian Manuel Posso, . "Colombian and South American Immigrants in the United States of America: Education Levels, Job Qualifications and the Decision to Go Back Home," Borradores de Economia 572, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
  14. David Autor & Lawrence Katz & Alan Krueger, 1997. "Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed the Labor Market?," Working Papers 756, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  15. Mauricio Santamaría, 2004. "Income Inequality, Skills And Trade: Evidence From Colombia During The 80s And 90s," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 002832, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  16. Michael T. Kiley, 1997. "The supply of skilled labor and skill-based technological progress," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1997-45, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  17. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2002. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization, And The Demand For Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 339-376, February.
  18. Dustmann, Christian & Ludsteck, Johannes & Schönberg, Uta, 2007. "Revisiting the German Wage Structure," IZA Discussion Papers 2685, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. Jere R. Behrman & Nancy Birdsall & Miguel Székely, 2003. "Economic Policy and Wage Differentials in Latin America," Working Papers 29, Center for Global Development.
  20. Desjonqueres, Thibaut & Machin, Stephen & Van Reenen, John, 1999. " Another Nail in the Coffin? Or Can the Trade Based Explanation of Changing Skill Structures Be Resurrected?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 101(4), pages 533-54, December.
  21. Giovanni Peri & Chad Sparber, 2008. "Highly-Educated Immigrants and Native Occupational Choice," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0813, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  22. Maarten Goos & Alan Manning, 2003. "Lousy and lovely jobs: the rising polarization of work in Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20002, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  23. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2008. "Trends in U.S. Wage Inequality: Revising the Revisionists," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 300-323, May.
  24. Fajnzylber, Pablo & Fernandes,Ana Margarida, 2004. "International economic activities and the demand for skilled labor: evidence from Brazil and China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3426, The World Bank.
  25. Duryea, Suzanne & Szekely, Miguel, 2000. "Labor markets in Latin America: a look at the supply-side," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 199-228, November.
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