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Trade, technology, and China's rising skill demand1

Bin Xu and Wei Li

The Economics of Transition, 2008, vol. 16, issue 1, 59-84

Abstract: China has experienced rising wage inequality due to rising relative demand for skilled labour. In this paper, we use a sample of 1,500 firms to investigate the impact of trade and technology on China's rising skill demand. We find that export expansion had a negative direct effect (Heckscher–Ohlin type) and a positive indirect effect (export‐induced skill‐biased technical change) on skill demand; the net effect was found positive and accounted for 5 percent of rising skill demand of the sample firms. We find that technical change in Chinese firms was on average skill‐neutral, but majority foreign‐owned firms experienced skill‐biased technical progress that accounted for 22 percent of the rising skill demand of the sample firms.

Date: 2008
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https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0351.2007.00314.x

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