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Relative Wages, Openness and Skill-Biased Technological Change

Author

Listed:
  • Görg, Holger

    () (Kiel Institute for the World Economy)

  • Strobl, Eric

    () (Aix-Marseille University)

Abstract

Standard neo-classical trade theory predicts that trade liberalisation should cause a fall in wage inequality in developing countries through a decrease in the relative demand for skilled labour. Recent studies of a number of developing countries, however, find evidence to the contrary. Using a panel of manufacturing firms in the 1990s we investigate whether skillbiased technological change induced through imports of technology-intensive capital goods or export activity may provide an explanation for the increase in relative wages of skilled workers in Ghana. Estimates of a skilled worker relative demand equation based on a translog cost function show that changes in technology through a greater inflow of foreign machinery is found to be indeed consistent with skill-biased technological change in Ghana.

Suggested Citation

  • Görg, Holger & Strobl, Eric, 2002. "Relative Wages, Openness and Skill-Biased Technological Change," IZA Discussion Papers 596, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp596
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Gupta Manash Ranjan & Dutta Priya Brata, 2014. "Skilled-Unskilled Wage Inequality, Growth of Skilled Labour and Development Policies," Journal of Globalization and Development, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-26, June.
    2. Meschi, Elena & Vivarelli, Marco, 2007. "Globalization and Income Inequality," IZA Discussion Papers 2958, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Fajnzylber, Pablo & Fernandes,Ana Margarida, 2004. "International economic activities and the demand for skilled labor: evidence from Brazil and China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3426, The World Bank.
    4. 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.
    5. Ilina Srour & Erol Taymaz & Marco Vivarelli, 2014. "Globalization, Technology and Skills: Evidence from Turkish Longitudinal Microdata," ERC Working Papers 1405, ERC - Economic Research Center, Middle East Technical University, revised Jun 2014.
    6. Gupta, Manash Ranjan & Dutta, Priya Brata, 2012. "Skilled–unskilled wage inequality, product variety, public input and increasing returns: A static general equilibrium analysis," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 502-513.
    7. Piva, Mariacristina., 2004. "The impact of technology transfer on employment and income distribution in developing countries : a survey of theoretical models and empirical studies," ILO Working Papers 993666903402676, International Labour Organization.
    8. Charles Ackah, & Oliver Morrissey, & Simon Appleton, "undated". "Who Gains from Trade Protection in Ghana? A Household-Level Analysis," Discussion Papers 07/02, University of Nottingham, CREDIT.
    9. Srour, Ilina & Taymaz, Erol & Vivarelli, Marco, 2013. "Skill-Biased Technological Change and Skill-Enhancing Trade in Turkey: Evidence from Longitudinal Microdata," IZA Discussion Papers 7320, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Marco Vivarelli, 2016. "The middle income trap: a way out based on technological and structural change," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 49(2), pages 159-193, August.
    11. Elżbieta Stępień, 2009. "The Impact of International Trade and Foreign Competition on Labour Earnings in Poland," Ekonomia journal, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw, vol. 24.
    12. Lo Turco, Alessia & Maggioni, Daniela, 2013. "Does Trade Foster Employment Growth in Emerging Markets? Evidence from Turkey," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 1-18.
    13. Ilina Srour & Marco Vivarelli & Erol Taymaz, 2013. "Technological Change and Skill-based Employment Disparities: Evidence from Turkey," DISCE - Quaderni del Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali dises1393, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
    14. Ana Margarida Fernandez & Pablo Fajnzylber, 2004. "International Technology Diffusion and the Demand for Skilled Labor: Evidence from East Asia and Latin America," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 290, Econometric Society.
    15. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    wage inequality; trade liberalisation; skill-biased technological change;

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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