New Goods and the Relative Demand for Skilled Labor
Chong Xiang ()
The Review of Economics and Statistics, 2005, vol. 87, issue 2, 285-298
This paper provides data on the output and factor payments of new goods for every four-digit industry in the U.S. manufacturing sector in the late 1970s and 1980s. For the entire manufacturing sector, the new goods' average skilled-labor intensity exceeds the old goods' by over 40%, and new goods can account for approximately 30% of the increase in the relative demand for skilled labor. Because new goods provide a direct measure of technology, this paper offers new evidence that technology has shifted demand in favor of skilled labor, consistent with the technology skill-complementarity hypothesis. © 2005 President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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