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The Labor Market Effects of Skill-biased Technological Change in Malaysia

Author

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  • Mohamed Ali Marouani

    () (UMR « Développement et Société », IEDES / Université Paris1-Panthéon-Sorbonne, PSL, Université Paris-Dauphine, LEDa, IRD UMR DIAL)

  • Björn Nilsson

    () (PSL, Université Paris-Dauphine, LEDa, UMR DIAL)

Abstract

(english) During the last half-century, the evolution of educational attainment among Malaysians has been spectacular, and current enrollment rates suggest this progression will continue, albeit at a slower pace. Such a transformation of the educational attainment of labor should bring about macroeconomic effects such as wage compression, sectoral shifts and/or high skill un- employment, unless compensatory mechanisms exist. This article examines the impact of this evolution using a dynamic general equilibrium model applied to Malaysia. We argue that skill biased technological change occurred in Malaysia in recent years, and permitted unemployment figures to remain low and skill premia not to sink, despite the shift in skill structure. We run a retrospective simulation, looking at how unemployment and wages would have reacted had skill biased technological change not been prevalent. We also simulate the effects of a restriction in the supply of education to understand the impact of recent educational policy in Malaysia. The results are fed to a microdata set using a microaccounting technique, addressing distributional concerns. Our results show that the reduction in wage inequalities could have been substan- tially more important had skill biased technological change not been present. Furthermore, they suggest that the open-door higher education policy has contributed heavily to a reduction in wage inequalities. _________________________________ (français) Depuis plusieurs décennies, l’évolution des dotations éducationnelles des malaisiens a été spectaculaire, et les taux de scolarisation actuels indiquent que cette tendance va se poursuivre. Une telle transformation des dotations éducationnelles des travailleurs devraient engendrer des effets macroéconomiques tels qu’une compression des salaires, des glissements sectoriels et une hausse du chômage des qualifiés, en l’absence de mécanismes compensatoires. Cet article examine l’impact d’une telle évolution en utilisant un modèle d’équilibre général dynamique appliqué à la Malaisie. Nous affirmons qu’un progrès technique biaisé en faveur du travail qualifié a été présent en Malaisie dans la période récente, permettant des taux de chômage des qualifiés à rester bas et les rapports salariaux à ne pas baisser, malgré l’évolution de la structure des dotations. Nous faisons une simulation rétrospective, examinant les effets potentiels sur le chômage et les salaires en l’absence du biais du progrès technique. Nous simulons également une restriction de l’offre d’éducation pour comprendre l’impact de la politique de formation récente en Malaisie. Les résultats sont injectés dans une base de microdonnées utilisant une technique de microsimulation. Les résultats montrent que la réduction des inégalités salariales aurait pu être plus forte en l’absence du progrès technique biaisé. Ils suggèrent en outre que la politique éducative généreuse a fortement contribué à une réduction de ces inégalités.

Suggested Citation

  • Mohamed Ali Marouani & Björn Nilsson, 2014. "The Labor Market Effects of Skill-biased Technological Change in Malaysia," Working Papers DT/2014/24, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
  • Handle: RePEc:dia:wpaper:dt201424
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Björn Nilsson, 2017. "The School-to-work transition in developing countries," Working Papers DT/2017/07, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    2. repec:eee:ecmode:v:70:y:2018:i:c:p:239-244 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Jung, Sungmoon & Lee, Jeong-Dong & Hwang, Won-Sik & Yeo, Yeongjun, 2017. "Growth versus equity: A CGE analysis for effects of factor-biased technical progress on economic growth and employment," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 424-438.
    4. Peng, Fei & Anwar, Sajid & Kang, Lili, 2017. "New technology and old institutions: An empirical analysis of the skill-biased demand for older workers in Europe," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 1-19.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Skills acquisition; CGE; Education and the Labor Market; Technological change; Acquisition de compétences; EGC; Education et marché du travail; progrès technique.;

    JEL classification:

    • E17 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

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