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Skills, Exports, and the Wages of Seven Million Latin American Workers

  • Irene Brambilla

    (Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Universidad de San Andrés y NBER)

  • Rafael Dix Carneiro

    (Princeton University)

  • Daniel Lederman

    (The World Bank)

  • Guido Porto

    (Universidad Nacional de La Plata)

The returns to schooling and the skill premium are key parameters in various elds and policy debates, including the literatures on globalization and inequality, international migration, and technological change. This paper explores the skill premium and its correlation with exports in Latin America, thus linking the skill premium to the emerg- ing literature on the structure of trade and development. Using data on employment and wages for over seven million workers from sixteen Latin American economies, the authors estimate national and industry-speci c returns to schooling and skill premi- ums and study some of their determinants. The evidence suggests that both country and industry characteristics are important in explaining returns to schooling and skill premiums. The analyses also suggest that the incidence of exports within industries, the average income per capita within countries, and the relative abundance of skilled workers are related to the underlying industry and country characteristics that explain these parameters. In particular, sectoral exports are positively correlated with the skill premium at the industry level, a result that supports recent trade models linking exports with wages and the demand for skills.

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File URL: http://cedlas.econo.unlp.edu.ar/archivos_upload/doc_cedlas119.pdf
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Paper provided by CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata in its series CEDLAS, Working Papers with number 0119.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dls:wpaper:0119
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Web page: http://cedlas.econo.unlp.edu.ar/

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  1. Roberto Alvarez & Ricardo López, 2005. "Exporting and performance: evidence from Chilean plants," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(4), pages 1384-1400, November.
  2. Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou & Pavcnik, Nina, 2005. "Trade, wages, and the political economy of trade protection: evidence from the Colombian trade reforms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 75-105, May.
  3. Eric A. Verhoogen, 2008. "Trade, Quality Upgrading, and Wage Inequality in the Mexican Manufacturing Sector," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 489-530.
  4. Jan De Loecker, 2004. "Do Exports Generate Higher Productivity? Evidence from Slovenia," LICOS Discussion Papers 15104, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
  5. Schank, Thorsten & Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2007. "Do exporters really pay higher wages? First evidence from German linked employer-employee data," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 52-74, May.
  6. Michel Beine & Frédéric Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2001. "Brain drain and economic growth: theory and evidence," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/10449, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  7. Nina Pavcnik & Andreas Blom & Pinelopi Goldberg & Norbert Schady, 2004. "Trade Liberalization and Industry Wage Structure: Evidence from Brazil," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 18(3), pages 319-344.
  8. Nina Pavcnik, 2000. "Trade Liberalization, Exit, and Productivity Improvements: Evidence from Chilean Plants," NBER Working Papers 7852, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Bernard, Andrew B. & Bradford Jensen, J., 1999. "Exceptional exporter performance: cause, effect, or both?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-25, February.
  10. Mikael Lindahl & Alan B. Krueger, 2001. "Education for Growth: Why and for Whom?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1101-1136, December.
  11. A. Isgut, 2001. "What's Different about Exporters? Evidence from Colombian Manufacturing," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(5), pages 57-82.
  12. Hartmut Egger & Udo Kreickemeier, 2009. "Firm Heterogeneity And The Labor Market Effects Of Trade Liberalization," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(1), pages 187-216, 02.
  13. Alessandro Nicita & Marcelo Olarreaga, 2007. "Trade, Production, and Protection Database, 1976--2004," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 21(1), pages 165-171.
  14. Griliches, Zvi, 1977. "Estimating the Returns to Schooling: Some Econometric Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(1), pages 1-22, January.
  15. William T. Dickens & Kevin Lang, 1986. "Labor Market Segmentation and the Union Wage Premium," NBER Working Papers 1883, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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