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Sectoral value added prices, TFP growth, and the low-skilled wage in high-income countries

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  • Lücke, Matthias

Abstract

This econometric analysis investigates the impact of changes in sectoral valueadded prices and total factor productivity (TFP) on the equilibrium relative wage of low-skilled workers in eleven high-income countries. The key finding is that TFP growth mandated an increase in the unskilled wage, relative to the remuneration of human capital, during the 1970s, but a decrease during the 1980s. This is consistent with the observation that, in most sample countries, the relative wage and employment opportunities of low-skilled workers tended to improve until about 1980, but have deteriorated since then. While the regression results suggest that technological change played a large role in shifting labour demand against low-skilled workers, this conclusion is qualified because the empirical evidence is also compatible with product upgrading and outsourcing of low-skill intensive production activities to low-income countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Lücke, Matthias, 1999. "Sectoral value added prices, TFP growth, and the low-skilled wage in high-income countries," Kiel Working Papers 923, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwkwp:923
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    JEL classification:

    • 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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