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International economic activities and the demand for skilled labor: evidence from Brazil and China


  • Fajnzylber, Pablo
  • Fernandes,Ana Margarida


Increases in international economic integration can lead to greater specialization according to comparative advantage, but also to the diffusion of skill-biased technologies. In developing countries characterized by relative abundance of unskilled labor, these factors can have opposite effects on the relative demand for skilled labor. This paper investigates the impact of the use of imported inputs, exports and foreign direct investment on the demand for skilled workers of Brazilian and Chinese manufacturing plants. We find that while in Brazil increased levels of international integration are associated with an increased demand for skilled labor, the opposite is true in China.

Suggested Citation

  • Fajnzylber, Pablo & Fernandes,Ana Margarida, 2004. "International economic activities and the demand for skilled labor: evidence from Brazil and China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3426, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3426

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Meschi, Elena & Vivarelli, Marco, 2007. "Globalization and Income Inequality," IZA Discussion Papers 2958, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Rita K. Almeida, 2010. "Openness and Technological Innovation in East Asia: Have They Increased the Demand for Skills?," Asia-Pacific Development Journal, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), vol. 17(1), pages 63-95, June.
    3. Crespi, Gustavo & Tacsir, Ezequiel, 2011. "Effects of innovation on employment in Latin America," MPRA Paper 35429, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Carlos Medina & Christian Manuel Posso Suárez, 2010. "Technical Change and Polarization of the Labor Market: Evidence for Brazil, Colombia and Mexico," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 007269, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
    5. Meschi, Elena & Taymaz, Erol & Vivarelli, Marco, 2011. "Trade, technology and skills: Evidence from Turkish microdata," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(S1), pages 60-70.
    6. Meschi, Elena & Vivarelli, Marco, 2009. "Trade and Income Inequality in Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 287-302, February.
    7. Zuniga, Pluvia & Crespi, Gustavo, 2013. "Innovation strategies and employment in Latin American firms," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 1-17.
    8. repec:eee:ecmode:v:66:y:2017:i:c:p:19-29 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. World Bank & National Research University – Higher School of Economics, 2013. "Developing Skills for Innovative Growth in the Russian Federation," World Bank Other Operational Studies 16100, The World Bank.


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