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Relative Demand for Skills in Swedish Manufacturing: Technology or Trade?

  • Hansson, Pär

    (Trade Union Institute for Economic Research)

The rate of change in the share of skilled labor has increased steadily over the past 35 years in Swedish manufacturing. A closer inspection of the period after 1970 indicates that while relative supply changes of skilled labor seem to have been the main driving force behind the growing skill shares in manufacturing industries over the period 1970-85, an acceleration in the relative demand for skills appears to have propelled higher skill shares during the late 1980s and in the beginning of the 1990s. Consistent with such a development is the finding of an increasing degree of complementarity between knowledge capital and skilled labor and that Swedish manufacturing firms, in recent years, have invested heavily in R&D. There is also some support for the belief that intensified competition from the South has increased the relative demand for skilled labor. However, the impact appears to be small and concentrated to the 1970s and the beginning of the 1980s.

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Paper provided by Trade Union Institute for Economic Research in its series Working Paper Series with number 152.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 29 Apr 1999
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Review of International Economics, 2000, pages 533-555.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:fiefwp:0152
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  1. Stephen Machin, 1995. "Changes in the Relative Demand for Skills in the UK Labour Market," CEP Discussion Papers dp0221, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. Richard B. Freeman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1995. "Differences and Changes in Wage Structures," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free95-1, December.
  3. repec:att:wimass:9620 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Wolfgang Keller, 1996. "Trade and the Transmission of Technology," Development and Comp Systems 9609001, EconWPA.
  5. Berman, Eli & Bound, John & Griliches, Zvi, 1994. "Changes in the Demand for Skilled Labor within U.S. Manufacturing: Evidence from the Annual Survey of Manufactures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(2), pages 367-97, May.
  6. Machin, S. & Van Reenen, J., 1997. "Technology and Changes in Skill Structure: Evidence from Seven OECD Countries," Papers 24, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
  7. Horn, Henrik & Lang, Harald & Lundgren, Stefan, 1995. "Managerial effort incentives, X-inefficiency and international trade," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 117-138, January.
  8. Edward E. Leamer, 1994. "Trade, Wages and Revolving Door Ideas," NBER Working Papers 4716, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Feenstra, R.C. & Hanson, G.H., 1995. "Foreign Investment, Outsourcing and Relative Wages," Department of Economics 95-14, California Davis - Department of Economics.
  10. Per-Anders Edin & Bertl Holmlund, 1993. "The Swedish Wage Stucture: The Rise and Fall of Solidarity Wage Policy?," NBER Working Papers 4257, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Blomström, Magnus & Fors, Gunnar & Lipsey, Robert E., 1997. "Foreign Direct Investment and Employment: Home Country Experience in the United States and Sweden," Working Paper Series 490, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  12. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1997. "Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed the Labor Market?," NBER Working Papers 5956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Wood, Adrian, 1995. "North-South Trade, Employment and Inequality: Changing Fortunes in a Skill-Driven World," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198290155, March.
  14. Hansson, Pär, 1996. "Trade, Technology and Changes in Employment of Skilled Labour in Swedish Manufacturing," Working Paper Series 131, Trade Union Institute for Economic Research.
  15. Bronwyn H. Hall & Jacques Mairesse, 1992. "Exploring the Relationship Between R&D and Productivity in French Manufacturing Firms," NBER Working Papers 3956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Wolfgang Keller, 1997. "Trade and Transmission of Technology," NBER Working Papers 6113, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Desjonqueres, Thibaut & Machin, Stephen & Van Reenen, John, 1999. " Another Nail in the Coffin? Or Can the Trade Based Explanation of Changing Skill Structures Be Resurrected?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 101(4), pages 533-54, December.
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