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Implications of skill-biased technological change: International evidence

Berman, E; Bound, J; Machin, S; (1998) Implications of skill-biased technological change: International evidence. Q J ECON , 113 (4) 1245 - 1279. Green open access

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Abstract

Demand for less-skilled workers plummeted in developed countries in the 1980s. In open economies, pervasive skill-biased technological change (SBTC) can explain this decline. SBTC tends to increase the domestic supply of unskill-intensive goods by releasing less-skilled labor. The more countries experiencing a SBTC, the greater its potential to decrease the relative wages of less-skilled labor by increasing the world supply of unskill-intensive goods. We find strong evidence for pervasive SBTC in developed countries. Most industries increased the proportion of skilled workers despite generally rising or stable relative wages. Moreover, the same manufacturing industries simultaneously increased demand for skills in different countries. Many developing countries also show increased skill premiums, a pattern consistent with SBTC.

Type: Article
Title: Implications of skill-biased technological change: International evidence
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Keywords: WAGE INEQUALITY, DEMAND
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/16913
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