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Technology, Trade and Inequality

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Abstract

In recent decades new technology has led to increasing demand for well-educated labour at the expense of labour with lower education levels. Moreover, increased imports from low-cost countries have squeezed out many Norwegian manufacturing firms employing a sizeable share of workers with low education. In this article a large macroeconomic model for Norway (MODAG) is used to quantify the importance that technological developments and competition from low-cost countries have had for the economy and for low- and high-educated labour. The results show that above all technological developments, but also increased trade with low-cost countries, have reduced demand for low-educated labour relative to well-educated labour. Wage formation factors have however meant a) that technological developments have also benefited those with low education who still hold a job, and b) that a relative fall in prices on goods from poor parts of the world has kept down wage differentials.

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  • Roger Bjørnstad & Terje Skjerpen, 2003. "Technology, Trade and Inequality," Discussion Papers 364, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:364
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    File URL: https://www.ssb.no/a/publikasjoner/pdf/DP/dp364.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Bjornstad, Roger & Skjerpen, Terje, 2006. "Trade and inequality in wages and unemployment," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 20-44, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Skill-bias technological change; international trade; centralized wage setting; inequality; labour demand; macroeconometric model.;

    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
    • E27 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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