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The Skill-Biased Effects of Exchange Rate Fluctuations

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Abstract

This paper examines the linkages between real exchange rate movements and firms' skill demand. Real exchange rate movements may affect unskilled workers differently than skilled workers because of skill-specific adjustment costs, or because exchange rates lead to changes in relative factor prices and firms' competition intensity. Using panel data on Swiss manufacturers, we find that an appreciation increases high-skilled and reduces low-skilled employment in most firms, while total employment remains roughly unchanged. We find evidence that exchange rates influence firms' skill intensity because they affect outsourcing activities, innovation efforts, and firms' compensation schemes.

Suggested Citation

  • Boris Kaiser & Michael Siegenthaler, 2015. "The Skill-Biased Effects of Exchange Rate Fluctuations," KOF Working papers 15-385, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:kof:wpskof:15-385
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3929/ethz-a-010479940
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    Cited by:

    1. Johnston, David W. & Shields, Michael A. & Suziedelyte, Agne, 2017. "World Commodity Prices, Job Security and Health: Evidence from the Mining Industry," IZA Discussion Papers 11251, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Piera Bello, 2017. "Exchange rate fluctuations and border crossings: evidence from the Swiss-Italian border," IdEP Economic Papers 1701, USI Università della Svizzera italiana.
    3. Matthias Flückiger & Christian Rutzer & Rolf Weder, 2016. "Die Schweizer Wirtschaft zwischen Hammer und Amboss: Eine Analyse der "Franken-Schocks" 2010/11 und 2015," Aussenwirtschaft, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science, Swiss Institute for International Economics and Applied Economics Research, vol. 67(03), pages 95-133, December.
    4. Arthur Korus, 2016. "Currency Overvaluation and R&D Spending," EIIW Discussion paper disbei218, Universitätsbibliothek Wuppertal, University Library.
    5. repec:gam:jeners:v:10:y:2017:i:10:p:1523-:d:114143 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:iza:izawol:journl:y:2017:n:383 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labor Demand; Skill Intensity; Employment; Real Exchange Rates; Firms' Foreign Exposure;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange

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