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Technology and the Demand for Skills: An Industry-Level Analysis


  • Surendra, G.


This paper examines the effect of technological change on the relative demand for skilled workers across Canadian industries. Using data from a number of Canadian labour market surveys, the paper explores two questions: (1) has skill intensity risen across industries over the 1981-94 period; and (2) is biased technological change the main cause of the shift in demand toward skilled workers? We proceed in two steps. First, we use broader occupational distinctions to develop two alternative industry-based skill measures -- one based on the skill classification identified in the National Occupational Classification (NOC), and the other based on the skill classification scheme proposed by Wolff and Baumol (1989). Second, we combine data on skills with four industry-level measures of technology: the stock of research and development (R&D), the stock of patents used by the industry, total factor productivity, and the age of the capital stock.

Suggested Citation

  • Surendra, G., 1998. "Technology and the Demand for Skills: An Industry-Level Analysis," Gouvernement du Canada - Industrial Organization 28, Gouvernement du Canada - Industry Canada.
  • Handle: RePEc:fth:cagoio:28

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    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure


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