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The increasing demand for skilled workers in Australia: the role of technical change

  • Craig de Laine

    (Productivity Commission)

  • Patrick Laplagne

    (Productivity Commission)

  • Susan Stone

    (Productivity Commission)

Examines how technological change has affected the demand for skilled workers. Over the past twenty years, there has been a shift toward employment of skilled workers in Australia, as well as in many other industrialised economies. While it has sometimes been argued that the trend toward skilled workers is due to increased trade with low wage countries, the paper shows other factors are at work. Changing employment patterns are more closely associated with a pull toward skilled workers, rather than a push away from lower skilled workers. The paper emphasises the role technology has played in shaping this demand.

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File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/lab/papers/0105/0105005.pdf
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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Labor and Demography with number 0105005.

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Date of creation: 21 May 2001
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Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpla:0105005
Note: Type of Document - PDF; prepared on IBM PC; to print on HP;
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org

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  1. Bartel, Ann P & Lichtenberg, Frank R, 1987. "The Comparative Advantage of Educated Workers in Implementing New Technology," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(1), pages 1-11, February.
  2. Goldin, Claudia D. & Katz, Lawrence F., 1998. "The Origins of Technology-Skill Complementarity," Scholarly Articles 27867130, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. George E. Johnson, 1997. "Changes in Earnings Inequality: The Role of Demand Shifts," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 41-54, Spring.
  4. Borland, Jeff & Wilkins, Roger, 1996. "Earnings Inequality in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 72(216), pages 7-23, March.
  5. Gaston, Noel, 1998. "The Impact of International Trade and Protection on Australian Manufacturing Employment," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(2), pages 119-36, June.
  6. J. A. Hausman, 1976. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Working papers 185, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  7. Eli Berman & John Bound & Zvi Griliches, 1994. "Changes in the Demand for Skilled Labor within U. S. Manufacturing: Evidence from the Annual Survey of Manufactures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 367-397.
  8. Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher A, 1999. "Unemployment Responses to 'Skill-Biased' Technology Shocks: The Role of Labour Market Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(455), pages 242-65, April.
  9. Haskel, Jonathan & Heden, Ylva, 1999. "Computers and the Demand for Skilled Labour: Industry- and Establishment-Level Panel Evidence for the UK," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(454), pages C68-79, March.
  10. Stephen Machin & John Van Reenen, 1998. "Technology and Changes in Skill Structure: Evidence from Seven OECD Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1215-1244.
  11. Alessandra Colecchia & George Papaconstantinou, 1996. "The Evolution of Skills in OECD Countries and the Role of Technology," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 1996/8, OECD Publishing.
  12. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1996. "Globalization, Outsourcing, and Wage Inequality," NBER Working Papers 5424, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1998. "Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed the Labor Market?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1169-1213.
  14. Steven J. Davis, 1992. "Cross-Country Patterns of Change in Relative Wages," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1992, Volume 7, pages 239-300 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Dixon, Peter B & Menon, Jayant & Rimmer, Maureen T, 2000. "Changes in Technology and Preferences: A General Equilibrium Explanation of Rapid Growth in Trade," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(1), pages 33-55, March.
  16. Haskel, Jonathan, 1996. "The Decline in Unskilled Employment in UK Manufacturing," CEPR Discussion Papers 1356, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. A Felstead & D Gallie & F Green, 2000. "Computers are even more important than you thought: An Analysis of the changing skill-intensity of jobs," CEP Discussion Papers dp0439, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  18. Machin, Steve, 1994. "Changes in the Relative Demand for Skills in the UK Labour Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 952, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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