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Skill Upgrading and the Real Exchange Rate

Author

Listed:
  • Roberto Alvarez

    () (Central Bank of Chile)

  • Ricardo Lopez

    () (Indiana University Bloomington)

Abstract

This paper examines the effect of changes in the real exchange rate on skill upgrading in the case of Chile. Using plant-level data from the manufacturing sector we find that a real depreciation increases the share of skilled workers in the total wage bill in exporters but not in non-exporters. This result suggests that depreciations or, more generally, increases in export profitability, may induce exporters to adopt more skilled-intensive technologies. This finding gives support to recent models of trade that highlight the possible effect of the real exchange rate on skill upgrading and wage inequality. This paper also finds that real depreciations increase the probability of exporting and the export intensity of plants that export, suggesting that these two channels may explain why changes in the real exchange rate may affect wages.

Suggested Citation

  • Roberto Alvarez & Ricardo Lopez, 2008. "Skill Upgrading and the Real Exchange Rate," CAEPR Working Papers 2008-020, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Department of Economics, Indiana University Bloomington.
  • Handle: RePEc:inu:caeprp:2008020
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Roberto Alvarez & Ricardo A. López, 2015. "Foreign Technology Acquisition and Changes in the Real Exchange Rate," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(4), pages 613-628, April.
    2. Araújo, Bruno César & Paz, Lourenço S., 2014. "The effects of exporting on wages: An evaluation using the 1999 Brazilian exchange rate devaluation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 1-16.
    3. Ricardo Lopez & Kathleen McQueeney, 2017. "Does Foreign Trade Facilitation Improve Firms’ Export Performance? A Microeconomic Analysis of Chilean Manufacturing Plants," Working Papers 112, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School.
    4. Doan, Thi Hong Thinh & Gente, Karine, 2014. "Real exchange rate and productivity in a specific-factor model with skilled and unskilled labour," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 1-15.
    5. Zhang, Teng & Ouyang, Puman, 2018. "Is RMB appreciation a nightmare for the Chinese firms? An analysis on firm profitability and exchange rate," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 27-43.
    6. Julian Emami Namini & Giovanni Facchini & Ricardo A. Lopez, 2011. "Export Growth and Factor Market Competition: Theory and Some Evidence," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-013/2, Tinbergen Institute.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean

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