46 research outputs found

    Analyzing Skilled and Unskilled Labor Efficiencies in US

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    In this paper, using a production framework in which skilled and unskilled labor are imperfect substitutes, we analyze the time paths of the efficiencies of skilled and unskilled labor and their implications for wage inequality and economic growth. We find no evidence that supports the common view that there has been an acceleration in skilled biased technical change. Indeed, after 1973 the efficiency of skilled labor grew more slowly than it had from 1961 to 1973. More interestingly, we find that after 1973 there has been a substantial decline in the efficiency of unskilled labor, implying that the decline in unskilled labor efficiency has significantly contributed to the widening in the U.S. wage structure. In a standard growth accounting framework, these findings further imply that skilled labor efficiency growth accounts for 35 to 67 percent of output growth, while changes in unskilled labor efficiency account for -31 to 2 percent of output growth, depending on exact values of the parameters of the model and the definition of skilled labor.

    R&D Spillovers Through Trade in a Panel of OECD Industries

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    This paper investigates the significance of Research and Development (R&D) spillovers through intra- and international trade in intermediate goods for productivity growth in a panel of OECD industries during 1973-1994. In the model, four different sources of R&D are identified: R&D conducted in the particular industry itself, R&D conducted in the same industries in other countries, R&D conducted in other domestic industries, and R&D conducted in other foreign industries. I find that among R&D sources the most important contributions to productivity growth come from the domestic R&D efforts. Here, own R&D is important for both domestic innovation and for the productivity catch-up process. Evidence that international R&D spillovers also have significant effects on productivity growth is found to be less robust. My analysis also shows that human capital affects productivity directly as a factor of production.

    Analyzing Skilled and Unskilled Labor Efficiencies in the US

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    This paper considers a world of two symmetric countries with two factors and two sectors. Outputs of the two sectors are imperfect substitutes and sectors differ in relative factor inten- sity. Each sector contains a continuum of heterogenous firms that produce differentiated goods within their sector. Trade is costly and there are both variable and fixed costs of exporting. The paper shows that under some plausible conditions supported by the data, trade between similar countries can increase the demand for skilled labor, which in turn increases the wage inequality between skilled and unskilled labor. The quantitative analyses suggest that such trade effects can explain up to 12 percent of the increase in the US skill premium.

    Firm Heterogeneity, Trade, and Wage Inequality

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    This paper considers a world of two symmetric countries with two factors and two sectors. Outputs of the two sectors are imperfect substitutes and sectors differ in relative factor inten- sity. Each sector contains a continuum of heterogenous firms that produce differentiated goods within their sector. Trade is costly and there are both variable and fixed costs of exporting. The paper shows that under some plausible conditions supported by the data, trade between similar countries can increase the demand for skilled labor, which in turn increases the wage inequality between skilled and unskilled labor. The quantitative analyses suggest that such trade effects can explain up to 12 percent of the increase in the US skill premium.

    Technology Diffusion through Trade with Heterogeneous Firms

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    I investigate the long-run implications of trade and technology di®usion through trade, when ¯rms are heterogeneous and trade is costly. The paper integrates ¯rm heterogeneity and trade into product innovation growth models from endogenous growth theory. Two speci¯ca- tions of the R&D process are considered. In the ¯rst, R&D uses labor and intermediate goods; in the second, it uses labor and available technology. I ¯nd that under both speci¯cations, exposure to trade increases average productivity. Furthermore, under the ¯rst speci¯cation exposure to trade always has a positive e®ect on economic growth, while it has an ambiguous e®ect on growth under the second.

    A Simple Model of Quality Heterogeneity and International Trade

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    This paper develops a trade model with firm-specifc quality heterogeneity, limit pricing, and an endogenous distribution of markups. Exposure to trade induces only the firms producing high-quality (high-price) products to enter the export markets, whereas firms producing low-quality (low-price) products serve the domestic market in accor- dance to the Alchian and Allen (1964) conjecture. Trade liberalization intensifies the competition; causes firms producing low-quality products to exit the market; increases the number of products consumed in each country; and generates quality upgrading that results in higher average domestic and export markups. The welfare effect of trade liberalization is ambiguous because the laissez-faire markups can be greater or lower than the socially optimal markups.

    When is Trade Protection Good for Growth?

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    The empirical relationship between trade protection and economic growth is surprisingly fragile, as shown in a number of other papers. After demonstrating this empirical sensitivity, we address one possible explanation for these findings: that the relationship is nonlinear. Following the endogenous growth literature, we test for the possibility that the relationship between trade barriers and growth is contingent on measures of comparative advantage. The findings suggest that these nonlinearities do in fact exist — in particular, the correlation between tariffs and growth is strongest and positive for capital-abundant countries — and are robust to the choice of control variables.

    Skill-biased Technological Change, Earnings of Unskilled Workers, and Crime

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    This paper investigates the impact of unskilled workers' earnings on crime. Following the literature on wage inequality and skill-biased technological change, we employ CPS data to create state-year as well as state-year-and (broad) industry specific measures of skill-biased technological change, which are then used as instruments for unskilled workers' earnings in crime regressions. Regressions that employ state panels reveal that technology-induced variations in unskilled workers' earnings impact property crime with an elasticity of -1, but that wages have no impact on violent crime. The paper also estimates, for the first time in this literature, structural crime equations using micro panel data from NLSY97 and instrumenting real wages of young workers. Using state-year-industry specific technology shocks as instruments yields elasticities that are in the neighborhood of -2 for most types of crime, which is markedly larger than previous estimates. In both data sets there is evidence for asymmetric impact of unskilled workers' earnings on crime. A decline in earnings has a larger effect on crime in comparison to an increase in earnings by the same absolute value.

    Enterprise Restructuring and Firm Performance: A Comparison of Rural and Urban Enterprises in Jiangsu Province

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    We examine the contrast in the experience of ownership reforms between urban SOEs and rural TVEs using a panel of industrial enterprises in Nanjing municipality for the period from 1994 to 2001. Our objectives are twofold. First, we study how the reform program of “grasp the large and let go of the small” has been carried out in practice by comparing the patterns of enterprise restructuring in the SOEs and the TVEs. Second, we investigate how the alternative reform strategy has affected firm performance in terms of the growth of labor productivity, total factor productivity (TFP), profitability, and worker earnings. We find a sharp contrast in the reform strategies of the SOEs and TVEs in two respects. First, the changes in the SOE sector were more gradual and involved more limited transfer of property rights than did the reform of the TVEs. Secondly, the reforms in both sectors exhibited selection bias but in opposite directions, with worse performing ones being the principal targets of reforms, among SOEs, and better performing enterprises being more likely to be picked for privatization, among TVEs. Our analysis discerns strikingly strong, robust positive effects of ownership restructuring on the growth of labor productivity, TFP and profitability in the reformed SOEs, indicating that the evolutionary reform policy for the SOEs has successfully reversed the trends of declining productivity and profits in these enterprises in Nanjing. We also find that among reformed urban enterprises, those in which private ownership accounts for less than 50% of shares performed better than those in which the majority of shares are owned privately. We find mixed evidence for the TVEs: privatization had no effect on firm performance in a group fixed-effects model but significant, positive effects in a firm fixed-effects model.http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/40054/3/wp668.pd
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