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Does skill-biased technical change diffuse internationally?

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  • Schulte, Patrick

Abstract

This paper studies the question whether skill-biased technical change diffuses internationally and that way contributes to the increasing relative skill demand in other countries. So far, the role of skill-biased technology diffusion has hardly been studied empirically. Using new sectoral data for a panel of 40 emerging and developed countries, 30 industries (covering manufacturing and service industries) and 13 years (1995-2007), the analysis shows that skill-biased technology diffusion is statistically and economically important in explaining skill-biased technical change. Countries further away from the skill-specific technological frontier subsequently show higher skill-specific productivity growth. For that, the bilateral distance between two countries proves to be an important mediating factor, whereas intersectoral trade linkages, so far, explain only a small part of it. The main results hold for both, developed and emerging countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Schulte, Patrick, 2015. "Does skill-biased technical change diffuse internationally?," ZEW Discussion Papers 15-088, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:15088
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Guy Michaels & Ashwini Natraj & John Van Reenen, 2010. "Has ICT Polarized Skill Demand? Evidence from Eleven Countries over 25 years," NBER Working Papers 16138, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Jakob B. Madsen & Md. Rabiul Islam & James B. Ang, 2010. "Catching up to the technology frontier: the dichotomy between innovation and imitation," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 43(4), pages 1389-1411, November.
    3. Musolesi, Antonio, 2007. "Basic stocks of knowledge and productivity: Further evidence from the hierarchical Bayes estimator," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 54-59, April.
    4. John Duffy & Chris Papageorgiou & Fidel Perez-Sebastian, 2004. "Capital-Skill Complementarity? Evidence from a Panel of Countries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 327-344, February.
    5. Conte, Andrea & Vivarelli, Marco, 2007. "Globalization and Employment: Imported Skill Biased Technological Change in Developing Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 2797, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Dieppe, Alistair & Mutl, Jan, 2013. "International R&D Spillovers: Technology Transfer vs. R&D Synergies," Working Paper Series 1504, European Central Bank.
    7. repec:lsu:lsuwpp:2003-12 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Eve Caroli & John Van Reenen, 2001. "Skill-Biased Organizational Change? Evidence from A Panel of British and French Establishments," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1449-1492.
    9. Mary O'Mahony & Marcel P. Timmer, 2009. "Output, Input and Productivity Measures at the Industry Level: The EU KLEMS Database," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(538), pages 374-403, June.
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    11. Guy Michaels & Ashwini Natraj & John Van Reenen, 2014. "Has ICT Polarized Skill Demand? Evidence from Eleven Countries over Twenty-Five Years," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(1), pages 60-77, March.
    12. Raveh, Ohad & Reshef, Ariell, 2016. "Capital imports composition, complementarities, and the skill premium in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 183-206.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pi, Jiancai & Zhang, Pengqing, 2018. "Skill-biased technological change and wage inequality in developing countries," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 347-362.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    skill-biased technical change; technology diffusion; distance; inputoutput linkages; industry-level data; emerging and developed countries;

    JEL classification:

    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • C67 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Input-Output Models

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