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Skill Premium in Chile: Studying Skill Upgrading in the South

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  • Francisco Gallego

    (Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.)

Abstract

The evolution of the skill premium (i.e., the wage differential between skilled and unskilled workers) has interest from at least two perspectives: it is a rough measure of inequality among workers of different qualifications and provides information on the characteristics of the development process of the economy. In this paper, I investigate empirically the evolution of the skill premium in Chile over the last 40 years. After some fluctuations in the 1960s and 1970s, the skill premium increased in the 1980s and has remained roughly constant since then. The data suggest that this evolution is an outcome of a significant increase in relative demand for skilled workers in the 1980s and 1990s and a sizeable increase in the relative supply in the 1990s. Sectoral evidence shows that, after controlling for sector and time effects, (i) the relative demand increased faster in the same industries in Chile than in the US and (ii) the correlation is stronger for tradable industries and non-tradable industries that are intensive in imported capital, as expected. This result is consistent with a number of theories that link skill up- grading in developed and developing countries. To try to disentangle among these theories, I present time series evidence suggesting that, after controlling for other determinants of skill premium, not only there is a positive correlation between skill premium in Chile and in the US but also the size of the correlation is consistent with the Acemoglu (2003a) model of endogenous technological choice in which new technologies are produced in developed countries (like the US) and adopted in developing economies (like Chile).

Suggested Citation

  • Francisco Gallego, 2010. "Skill Premium in Chile: Studying Skill Upgrading in the South," Working Papers ClioLab 9, EH Clio Lab. Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.
  • Handle: RePEc:ioe:clabwp:9
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    Cited by:

    1. Mauro Caselli, 2014. "Trade, skill-biased technical change and wages in Mexican manufacturing," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(3), pages 336-348, January.
    2. Correa, Juan & Lorca, Miguel & Parro, Francisco, 2014. "Capital-Skill Complementarity: Does capital disaggregation matter?," MPRA Paper 61285, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Pablo Acosta & Guillermo Cruces & Sebastian Galiani & Leonardo Gasparini, 2019. "Educational upgrading and returns to skills in Latin America: evidence from a supply–demand framework," Latin American Economic Review, Springer;Centro de Investigaciòn y Docencia Económica (CIDE), vol. 28(1), pages 1-20, December.
    4. Raúl Fuentes Z. & Javier Scavia D. & Juan Berríos P., 2014. "About the long-term distributional impact of embodied technological progress (without spillover effects) in developing countries," Journal Economía Chilena (The Chilean Economy), Central Bank of Chile, vol. 17(3), pages 28-54, December.
    5. Kölling, Arnd & Mertens, Antje, 2020. "Exporting behavior and the demand for skills in German establishments," Working Papers 97, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Institute of Management Berlin (IMB).
    6. Yoshimichi Murakami, 2021. "Trade liberalization and wage inequality: Evidence from Chile," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(3), pages 407-438, April.
    7. José I. Cuesta & Francisco A. Gallego & Felipe A. González, 2015. "Local Impacts of Trade Liberalization: Evidence from the Chilean Agricultural Sector," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Ricardo J. Caballero & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (ed.),Economic Policies in Emerging-Market Economies Festschrift in Honor of Vittorio Corbo, edition 1, volume 21, chapter 14, pages 351-378, Central Bank of Chile.
    8. Gasparini, Leonardo & Galiani, Sebastian & Cruces, Guillermo & Acosta, Pablo A., 2011. "Educational Upgrading and Returns to Skills in Latin America: Evidence from a Supply-Demand Framework, 1990-2010," IZA Discussion Papers 6244, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Elizabeth J. Casabianca & Alessia Lo Turco & Claudia Pigini, 2019. "Import penetration and returns to tasks: recent evidence from the Peruvian labour market," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 56(2), pages 551-617, February.
    10. Fox, Stephen, 2016. "Leapfrog skills: Combining vertical and horizontal multi-skills to overcome skill trade-offs that limit prosperity growth," Technology in Society, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 129-139.
    11. Jorge Friedman & Nanno Mulder & Sebastián Faúndez & Esteban Pérez Caldentey & Carlos Yévenes & Mario Velásquez & Fernando Baizán & Gerhard Reinecke, 2011. "Openness, Wage Gaps and Unions in Chile: A Micro Econometric Analysis," OECD Trade Policy Papers 134, OECD Publishing.
    12. Elena Meschi & Erol Taymaz & Marco Vivarelli, 2016. "Globalization, technological change and labor demand: a firm-level analysis for Turkey," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 152(4), pages 655-680, November.
    13. Havranek, Tomas & Irsova, Zuzana & Laslopova, Lubica & Zeynalova, Olesia, 2020. "The Elasticity of Substitution between Skilled and Unskilled Labor: A Meta-Analysis," MetaArXiv 7z2uh, Center for Open Science.
    14. Ariel Burstein & Javier Cravino & Jonathan Vogel, 2013. "Importing Skill-Biased Technology," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 32-71, April.
    15. José Ignacio Cuesta & Francisco Gallego & Felipe A. González, 2013. "Local Impacts of Economic Liberalization: Evidence from the Chilean Agricultural Sector," Working Papers ClioLab 17, EH Clio Lab. Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.
    16. Yoshimichi Murakami, 2018. "Globalization and Income Inequality in Latin America: A Review of Theoretical Developments and Recent Evidence," Discussion Paper Series DP2018-16, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University, revised Aug 2018.
    17. Furuta, Manabu, 2016. "Trade Liberalization and Wage Inequality in the Indian Manufacturing Sector," MPRA Paper 73709, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Parro, Francisco & Reyes, Loreto, 2013. "The Chilean Labor Market: Job Creation, Quality, Inclusiveness, and Future Challenges," MPRA Paper 50755, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Shiyang Li & Huasheng Zhu, 2020. "Agglomeration Externalities and Skill Upgrading in Local Labor Markets: Evidence from Prefecture-Level Cities of China," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(16), pages 1-15, August.
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    21. Yoshimichi Murakami, 2013. "Trade Liberalization and Skill Premium in Chile," Discussion Paper Series DP2013-19, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
    22. Contreras, Dante & Elacqua, Gregory & Martinez, Matías & Miranda, Álvaro, 2016. "Bullying, identity and school performance: Evidence from Chile," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 147-162.
    23. Lanouar Charfeddine & Zouhair Mrabet, 2015. "Trade liberalization and relative employment: further evidence from Tunisia," Eurasian Business Review, Springer;Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 5(1), pages 173-202, June.

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    JEL classification:

    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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