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Is technological change really skill biased? Evidence from the introduction of ICTs on the textile sector (1980-2000)


  • Alberto Baccini


  • Martina Cioni


This paper investigates the effects of the introduction of information and communication technologies (ICTs) on the skills of a workforce. Using micro-data collected from workers in the textile sector, we analyse whether the introduction of ICTs has modified workers’ tasks, so that higher skills and longer training periods than before are necessary. Our survey has shown that ICTs i) have replaced unskilled labour in some cases and skilled labour in others; ii) have changed workers’ tasks in some cases but not in others; and finally, iii) have brought about an increase in skills for only a small number of occupations. This empirical evidence does not confirm the hypothesis that technological change, and in particular change introduced by ICTs, is necessarily skill biased

Suggested Citation

  • Alberto Baccini & Martina Cioni, 2005. "Is technological change really skill biased? Evidence from the introduction of ICTs on the textile sector (1980-2000)," Department of Economics University of Siena 465, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
  • Handle: RePEc:usi:wpaper:465

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mark Sanders & Bas ter Weel, 2000. "Skill-Biased Technical Change Theoretical Concepts, Empirical Problems and a Survey of the Evidence," DRUID Working Papers 00-8, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sandra Silva & Jorge Valente & Aurora Teixeira, 2012. "An evolutionary model of industry dynamics and firms’ institutional behavior with job search, bargaining and matching," Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Springer;Society for Economic Science with Heterogeneous Interacting Agents, vol. 7(1), pages 23-61, May.

    More about this item


    Technological change; skill bias; textile industry;

    JEL classification:

    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • L67 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Other Consumer Nondurables: Clothing, Textiles, Shoes, and Leather Goods; Household Goods; Sports Equipment

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