Techies, Trade, and Skill-Biased Productivity

54 Pages Posted: 26 Nov 2018

See all articles by James Harrigan

James Harrigan

University of Virginia - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Ariell Reshef

Paris School of Economics (PSE); CNRS; Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne - CES/CNRS; Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Info. Internationales (CEPII)

Farid Toubal

Ecole Normale Superieure de Cachan (ENS) - Departement of Economics ans Management; National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) - Center for Research in Economics and Statistics (CREST); Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Info. Internationales (CEPII)

Date Written: November 2018

Abstract

We study the impact of firm level choices of ICT, R&D, exporting and importing on the evolution of productivity and its bias towards skilled occupations. We use a novel measure of the propensity of a firm to engage in technology investment and adoption: its employment of workers with STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills and experience who we call “techies”. We develop a methodology for estimating firm level productivity that allows us to measure both Hicks-neutral and skill-augmenting technology differences, and apply this to administrative data on French firms in the entire private sector from 2009 to 2013. We find that techies and importing of intermediate inputs raise skill-biased productivity, while imports also raise Hicks-neutral productivity. We also find that higher firm-level skill biased productivity raises low-skill employment even as it raises the ratio of skilled to unskilled workers. This is because of the cost-reducing effect of higher productivity. The techie and trade effects are large, and can account for much of the aggregate increase in skilled employment from 2009 to 2013.

Institutional subscribers to the NBER working paper series, and residents of developing countries may download this paper without additional charge at www.nber.org.

Suggested Citation

Harrigan, James and Reshef, Ariell and Toubal, Farid, Techies, Trade, and Skill-Biased Productivity (November 2018). NBER Working Paper No. w25295. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3290430

James Harrigan (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 400182
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4182
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Ariell Reshef

Paris School of Economics (PSE) ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014
France

CNRS ( email )

France

Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne - CES/CNRS ( email )

106 bv de l'Hôpital
Paris, 75013
France

Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Info. Internationales (CEPII) ( email )

9 rue Georges Pitard
Paris Cedex 15, F-75015
France

Farid Toubal

Ecole Normale Superieure de Cachan (ENS) - Departement of Economics ans Management ( email )

France

National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) - Center for Research in Economics and Statistics (CREST) ( email )

15 Boulevard Gabriel Peri
Malakoff Cedex, 1 92245
France

Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Info. Internationales (CEPII) ( email )

9 rue Georges Pitard
Paris Cedex 15, F-75015
France

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
8
Abstract Views
134
PlumX Metrics