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Biased Technological Shocks, Wage Rigidities and Low-Skilled Unemployment

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  • Olivier Pierrard
  • Henri Sneessens

Abstract

The contrast between the evolution over the last decades of the EU and the US unemployment rates, especially for the low-skilled, is well known. A consensus view is that these different outcomes can be explained by the interactions between common shocks and specific institutional setups. In this paper, we emphasise the interactions between technological changes and wages ridigities. We construct a fully calibrated general equilibrium model with two types of jobs and two types of workers, and with search unemployment. Our simulations show that with wages rigidities, technological changes suffice to generate a continuous rise in the low-skilled unemployment rate and an almost unchanged high-skilled unemployment rate. Without wage rigidities, the unemployment rates remain unchanged but the wage dispersion widens.

Suggested Citation

  • Olivier Pierrard & Henri Sneessens, 2004. "Biased Technological Shocks, Wage Rigidities and Low-Skilled Unemployment," DNB Working Papers 020, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:020
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    unemployent; skill biased changes; wage rigidities;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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