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The Skill-Biased Effects of Exchange Rate Fluctuations

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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.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3929/ethz-a-010479940
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Paper provided by KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich in its series KOF Working papers with number 15-385.

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Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2015
Handle: RePEc:kof:wpskof:15-385
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  1. Arellano, Manuel & Bover, Olympia, 1995. "Another look at the instrumental variable estimation of error-components models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-51, July.
  2. Feenstra, Robert C., 1989. "Symmetric pass-through of tariffs and exchange rates under imperfect competition: An empirical test," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1-2), pages 25-45, August.
  3. Dario Fauceglia & Anirudh Shingal & Martin Wermelinger, 2014. "Natural Hedging of Exchange Rate Risk: The Role of Imported Input Prices," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 150(IV), pages 261-296, December.
  4. Yi Lu & Travis Ng, 2013. "Import Competition and Skill Content in U.S. Manufacturing Industries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(4), pages 1404-1417, October.
  5. Arpita Chatterjee & Rafael Dix-Carneiro & Jade Vichyanond, 2013. "Multi-product Firms and Exchange Rate Fluctuations," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 77-110, May.
  6. Fernando Alexandre & Pedro Bação & João Cerejeira & Miguel Portela, 2011. "Employment and Exchange Rates: The Role of Openness and Technology," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 22(5), pages 969-984, November.
  7. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Gerard A. Pfann, 1996. "Adjustment Costs in Factor Demand," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(3), pages 1264-1292, September.
  8. Biscourp, Pierre & Kramarz, Francis, 2007. "Employment, skill structure and international trade: Firm-level evidence for France," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 22-51, May.
  9. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
  10. Burgess, Simon M & Knetter, Michael M, 1998. "An International Comparison of Employment Adjustment to Exchange Rate Fluctuations," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(1), pages 151-163, February.
  11. Fernando Parro, 2013. "Capital-Skill Complementarity and the Skill Premium in a Quantitative Model of Trade," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 72-117, April.
  12. Blatter, Marc & Muehlemann, Samuel & Schenker, Samuel, 2012. "The costs of hiring skilled workers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 20-35.
  13. Alexander Hijzen & Holger Görg & Robert C. Hine, 2005. "International Outsourcing and the Skill Structure of Labour Demand in the United Kingdom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(506), pages 860-878, October.
  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. Paula Bustos, 2005. "The impact of trade liberalization on skill upgrading. Evidence from Argentina," Economics Working Papers 1189, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jul 2011.
  16. Mathias Thoenig & Thierry Verdier, 2003. "A Theory of Defensive Skill-Biased Innovation and Globalization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 709-728, June.
  17. Ekholm, Karolina & Moxnes, Andreas & Ulltveit-Moe, Karen Helene, 2012. "Manufacturing restructuring and the role of real exchange rate shocks," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 101-117.
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