Trade and wages in Uruguay in the 1990’s
The main facts of the Uruguayan labour market along the nineties may be summarized in three main phenomena: increase in wage inequality with an increase of the skill wage premium and changes in the inter-industrial wage structure; destruction of unskilled jobs, associated to trade openness and changes in the productive specialization that implied technical change biased to the employment of workers with higher skill; decrease of the role of unions in wage negotiation. This paper attempts an empirical strategy to evaluate the impact of increased trade openness in the industry wage premiums and in the skill wage premiums, combining micro and macro data. We find a link between trade openness and both industry and wage premiums in the 1990’s in Uruguay: in a given industry, reduced protection implied an increase in the skill premium and a lower industry relative wage
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