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Technological Change and Outsourcing: Competing or Complementary Explanations for the Rising Demand for Skills during the 1980s?


  • Anton Tchipev

    () (Istituto di Ricerche Economiche (IRE), Facoltà di Scienze Economiche, Università della Svizzera Italiana)


This paper combines two of the popular approaches used in the trade versus technology debate: the factor content approach and the cost-share regression across manufacturing industries. The resulting method allows to decompose skill upgrading at the industry level into a component attributed to outsourcing and a residual. Surprisingly, computer investment explains the component attributed to outsourcing better than the residual suggesting that technological change may have contributed to higher disintegration of production already during the 1980s.

Suggested Citation

  • Anton Tchipev, 2006. "Technological Change and Outsourcing: Competing or Complementary Explanations for the Rising Demand for Skills during the 1980s?," Quaderni della facoltà di Scienze economiche dell'Università di Lugano 0609, USI Università della Svizzera italiana.
  • Handle: RePEc:lug:wpaper:0609

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    File URL:,42,6,20061220175116-WK/wp0609.pdf
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    More about this item


    wage inequality; technological change; intermediate products; outsourcing; factor content;

    JEL classification:

    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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