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Factor Supplies and the Direction of Technical Change

In this paper, we empirically address the hypothesis that there is a relationship between the supply of human capital and the rate and direction of skill-biased technical change (SBTC). Using country- and industry-level data on OECD countries, we find R&D to be positively related to the supply of human capital. There is, however, no indication that this translates into higher rates of SBTC, when SBTC is measured as changes in the wage bill share of skilled labor. Interestingly, both R&D and the rate of SBTC seem to be relatively high in low-skill industries in countries where the supply of human capital is relatively high.

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Paper provided by Research Institute of Industrial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 640.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: 12 May 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0640
Contact details of provider: Postal: Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46 8 665 4500
Fax: +46 8 665 4599
Web page: http://www.ifn.se/
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  1. Haskel, Jonathan E. & Slaughter, Matthew J., 2002. "Does the sector bias of skill-biased technical change explain changing skill premia?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(10), pages 1757-1783, December.
  2. Eli Berman & John Bound & Stephen Machin, 1997. "Implications of Skill-Biased Technological Change: International Evidence," NBER Working Papers 6166, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. David Card & John E. DiNardo, 2002. "Skill Biased Technological Change and Rising Wage Inequality: Some Problems and Puzzles," NBER Working Papers 8769, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Stephen Machin & John Van Reenen, 1998. "Technology and changes in skill structure: evidence from seven OECD countries," IFS Working Papers W98/04, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  5. Peter Gottschalk & Timothy M. Smeeding, 1997. "Cross-National Comparisons of Earnings and Income Inequality," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(2), pages 633-687, June.
  6. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1998. "Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed The Labor Market?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1169-1213, November.
  7. Doms, Mark & Dunne, Timothy & Troske, Kenneth R, 1997. "Workers, Wages, and Technology," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 253-90, February.
  8. Daron Acemoglu, 2003. "Cross-Country Inequality Trends," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages F121-F149, February.
  9. Daron Acemoglu, 2002. "Directed Technical Change," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 781-809.
  10. Maurin, Eric & Thesmar, David & Thoenig, Mathias, 2002. "Globalization and the demand for skill: An Export Based Channel," CEPR Discussion Papers 3406, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Katz, Lawrence F. & Autor, David H., 1999. "Changes in the wage structure and earnings inequality," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1463-1555 Elsevier.
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