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Technology, Wages, and Skill Shortages: Evidence from UK Micro Data

Jonathan Haskel () and Christopher Martin ()

Oxford Economic Papers, 2001, vol. 53, issue 4, 642-58

Abstract: Why have skill shortages continue to persist despite increases in training and the skill levels of the workforce? We argue that technical progress has raised the demand for skilled labour to match the observed increase in supply. We provide econometric evidence in support of this hypothesis, showing that skill shortages are higher for establishments that use advanced technology in the production process. We also provide econometric evidence that hiring difficulties are inversely related to the relative wage, as theory would suggest. Our results have clear implications for policy. If technological progress continues to be skill biased, policies that address skills deficiencies will only be successful if they produce a continual, rather than a temporary, increase in levels of skills among the workforce. Copyright 2001 by Oxford University Press.

Date: 2001
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