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Skill Upgrading and the Real Exchange Rate

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  • Roberto Álvarez
  • Ricardo A. López

Abstract

This paper examines the effect of changes in the real exchange rate on skill upgrading in the case of Chile. Using plant-level data from the manufacturing sector we find that a real depreciation increases the share of skilled workers in the total wage bill in exporters but not in non-exporters. This result suggests that depreciations or, more generally, increases in export profitability, may induce exporters to adopt more skilled-intensive technologies. This finding gives support to recent models of trade that highlight the possible effect of the real exchange rate on skill upgrading and wage inequality. This paper also finds that real depreciations increase plants’ export intensity, suggesting that skill upgrading for already exporters is the channel through which real exchange depreciations affect wage inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Roberto Álvarez & Ricardo A. López, 2009. "Skill Upgrading and the Real Exchange Rate," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 519, Central Bank of Chile.
  • Handle: RePEc:chb:bcchwp:519
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Emami Namini, Julian & Facchini, Giovanni & Lopez, Ricardo, 2011. "Export growth and factor market competition: theory and evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 8256, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Roberto Alvarez & Ricardo A. López, 2015. "Foreign Technology Acquisition and Changes in the Real Exchange Rate," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(4), pages 613-628, April.
    3. Araújo, Bruno César & Paz, Lourenço S., 2014. "The effects of exporting on wages: An evaluation using the 1999 Brazilian exchange rate devaluation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 1-16.
    4. Ricardo Lopez & Kathleen McQueeney, 2017. "Does Foreign Trade Facilitation Improve Firms’ Export Performance? A Microeconomic Analysis of Chilean Manufacturing Plants," Working Papers 112, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School.
    5. Caroline DAYMON, 2012. "Ouverture Commerciale, Inégalités De Revenu Et Répartition Salariale Dans Les Pays Du Sud Et De L’Est De La Méditerranée," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 35, pages 81-98.
    6. Doan, Thi Hong Thinh & Gente, Karine, 2014. "Real exchange rate and productivity in a specific-factor model with skilled and unskilled labour," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 1-15.
    7. repec:eee:reveco:v:54:y:2018:i:c:p:27-43 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Julian Emami Namini & Giovanni Facchini & Ricardo A. Lopez, 2011. "Export Growth and Factor Market Competition: Theory and Some Evidence," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-013/2, Tinbergen Institute.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean

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