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Perspectives of Workers with Low Qualifications in Germany under the Pressures of Globalization and Technical Progress

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Abstract

This paper gives a detailed analysis of the perspectives of workers with low qualifications in Germany under the twofold pressures of globalization and technological change. First, alter-native explanations for the skill-bias in the development of labour demand are discussed, with particular emphasis on the “trade versus technology” debate. The consequences of the demand shift away from low-skilled labour in Germany are examined in a detailed empirical analysis of the development of (un)employment problems differentiated for qualification groups. Compared to other advanced economies, Germany shows a higher unemployment rate among less-qualified workers which is generally associated with a lack of flexibility in the German wage structure. However, an analysis of German, U.S. and British wage data based on the Cross National Equivalent File (CNEF) does not confirm the assumption of a simple mono-causal relationship between wage disparity and the intensity of group-specific unemployment. Finally, some political approaches for an improvement of the job prospects of less-qualified persons in Germany are outlined briefly and evaluated against the background of the empiri-cal results.

Suggested Citation

  • Harald Hagemann & Ralf Rukwid, 2007. "Perspectives of Workers with Low Qualifications in Germany under the Pressures of Globalization and Technical Progress," Diskussionspapiere aus dem Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre der Universität Hohenheim 291/2007, Department of Economics, University of Hohenheim, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:hoh:hohdip:291
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    File URL: http://www.uni-hohenheim.de/RePEc/hoh/papers/291.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. António B. Moniz & Margarida R. Paulos, 2009. "The clothing industry as a globalized sector: implications for work organisation, quality of work and job content," IET Working Papers Series 13/2009, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, IET/CICS.NOVA-Interdisciplinary Centre on Social Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology.
    2. Goetz Zeddies, 2012. "International trade patterns and labour markets – an empirical analysis for EU member states," International Journal of Economics and Business Research, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 4(1/2), pages 96-115.
    3. Moniz, António & Paulos, Margarida Ramires, 2008. "The globalisation in the clothing sector and its implications for work organisation: a view from the Portuguese case," MPRA Paper 10165, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Rukwid, Ralf, 2012. "Grenzen der Bildungsexpansion? Ausbildungsinadäquate Beschäftigung von Ausbildungs- und Hochschulabsolventen in Deutschland," Violette Reihe: Schriftenreihe des Promotionsschwerpunkts "Globalisierung und Beschäftigung" 37/2012, University of Hohenheim, Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Evangelisches Studienwerk.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    low-skilled labour; unemployment; wage inequality; globalization; skill-biased technological change; CNEF;

    JEL classification:

    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade

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