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http://ssrn.com/abstract=3350
 
 

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Technology and Changes in Skill Structure: Evidence from an International Panel of Industries


Stephen J. Machin


University College London - Department of Economics; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Annette Ryan


University College London

John Van Reenen


London School of Economics - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP); Stanford Graduate School of Business; Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

July 1996

CEPR Discussion Paper Series 1434

Abstract:     
This paper examines the evidence that rapid upgrading of the skill structure in recent years was driven by technological change. Four countries are examined who have had different wage inequality and unemployment trends--Denmark, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. The analysis of changes in wage bill shares and employment shares of more skilled workers leads us to the following conclusions: 1) within-industry changes are the driving force of aggregate shifts across all four countries; 2) there is evidence of skill-biased technical change and capital-skill complementarity in all four countries; 3) the results are robust to using education instead of occupation as a measure of skill and computerization instead of R & D as a measure of technology; 4) in the Anglo-Saxon countries a maximum of one-third of the aggregate change in the skill structure can be accounted for purely by technological factors; 5) the decline of collective bargaining, rather than trade, in the United Kingdom and the United States is an important factor in explaining the changes.

JEL Classification: J51, O33

working papers series





Not Available For Download

Date posted: September 25, 1996  

Suggested Citation

Machin, Stephen J. and Ryan, Annette and Van Reenen, John, Technology and Changes in Skill Structure: Evidence from an International Panel of Industries (July 1996). CEPR Discussion Paper Series 1434. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=3350

Contact Information

Stephen J. Machin (Contact Author)
University College London - Department of Economics ( email )
Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom
+0171 955 7799 (Phone)
+0171 955 7595 (Fax)
Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 7 / 9
Bonn, D-53072
Germany
Annette Ryan
University College London
Gower Street
London
United Kingdom
John Michael Van Reenen
London School of Economics - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) ( email )
Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
+44 20 7955 6976 (Phone)
+44 20 7955 6848 (Fax)
Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )
518 Memorial Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) ( email )
7 Ridgmount Street
London, WC1E 7AE
United Kingdom
+44 20 7240 6740 (Phone)
+44 20 7240 6136 (Fax)
Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom
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