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Equipment Investment and the Relative Demand for Skilled Labor: International Evidence

  • Karnit Flug
  • Zui Hercowitz

This paper estimates the effects of equipment investment on relative wages and employment of skilled labor and explores their dynamics. The basic hypothesis is that they are positive, due to either equipment-skill complementarity or to skill advantage in technology adoption. Using a panel data set with a wide rage of countries, the relative wage and relative employment of skilled workers are regressed on lagged investment in machinery and other relevant variables. The results indicate a strong, positive effect of machinery investment on the relative demand for skilled labor.

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Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank in its series IDB Publications (Working Papers) with number 5878.

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Date of creation: Dec 1996
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:idb:brikps:5878
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  1. Bound, John & Johnson, George, 1992. "Changes in the Structure of Wages in the 1980's: An Evaluation of Alternative Explanations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 371-92, June.
  2. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong-Wha, 1993. "International comparisons of educational attainment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 363-394, December.
  3. Bartel, Ann P & Lichtenberg, Frank R, 1987. "The Comparative Advantage of Educated Workers in Implementing New Technology," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(1), pages 1-11, February.
  4. Eli Berman & John Bound & Stephen Machin, 1997. "Implications of Skill-Biased Technological Change: International Evidence," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 78, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  5. Thomas F. Cooley & Jeremy Greenwood & Mehmet Yorukoglu, 1994. "The replacement problem," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 95, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  6. Robert J. Gordon, 1990. "The Measurement of Durable Goods Prices," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gord90-1, December.
  7. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Krusell, Per, 1997. "Long-Run Implications of Investment-Specific Technological Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 342-62, June.
  8. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-42, June.
  9. repec:oup:qjecon:v:109:y:1994:i:2:p:367-97 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Greenwood, Jeremy & Yorukoglu, Mehmet, 1997. "1974," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 49-95, June.
    • Greenwood, J. & Yorukoglu, M., 1996. "1974," RCER Working Papers 429, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  11. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:113:y:1998:i:4:p:1245-1279 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. repec:oup:qjecon:v:113:y:1998:i:4:p:1245-1279 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Feenstra, Robert C. & Hanson, Gordon H., 1997. "Foreign direct investment and relative wages: Evidence from Mexico's maquiladoras," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-4), pages 371-393, May.
  14. Boyan Jovanovic, 1995. "Learning and Growth," NBER Working Papers 5383, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Griliches, Zvi, 1969. "Capital-Skill Complementarity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(4), pages 465-68, November.
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