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Relative Supply and Demand for Skills in Switzerland

Patrick Puhani

Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), 2005, vol. 141, issue IV, 555-584

Abstract: Whereas Anglo-Saxon economies have recently experienced a widening wage distribution between skill groups, the Swiss wage structure has remained almost stable. This raises the question whether the Swiss labour market did not experience a decrease in the relative demand for low-skilled workers as the Anglo-Saxon economies or whether it was supply changes that kept the wage distribution between skill groups constant. I show that immigration policy played a negligible role and that the stable wage structure was made possible by adequate increases in the relative supply of skills that neutralised the increasing relative demand. From a policy perspective, my results are supportive of existing supply-side policies aiming to improve the skills of the workforce, like the expansion of higher education.

Keywords: wages; earnings; non-employment; rigidity; immigrants; work permits (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E24 J21 J31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2005
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