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Technology, trade and skills in Brazil: Some evidence from microdata

Bruno Cesar Araújo (), Francesco Bogliacino () and Marco Vivarelli ()
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Bruno Cesar Araújo: Istituto de Pesquisa Economica Aplicada - IPEA

No dises1171, DISCE - Quaderni del Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali from Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE)

Abstract: Brazil was characterised by a marked process of trade liberalisation in the ‘90s, resulting in a dramatic increase in the volumes of exports and imports since the year 2000. Over the same period, the relative demand for skilled labour has increased substantially. To investigate whether these two simultaneous phenomena are linked is the purpose of this paper. More in particular, this study focuses on the possible impact of domestic technology, capital complementarity and trade openness on the relative demand for skilled labour in Brazilian manufacturing firms, using a unique panel database (resulting from merging three different statistical sources) of Brazilian manufacturing firms over the period 1997-2005. Descriptive statistics show that the increase in the relative demand for skilled labour was mainly driven by the within-industry variation, supporting the hypothesis that technology (and in particular technological transfer from richer countries) may have played a role in determining the skill-upgrading of Brazilian manufacturing firms. The econometric results further support this hypothesis. Indeed, the estimations show that domestic technology and capital formation are complements for the skilled workers and that imported capital goods clearly act as a skill-enhancing component of trade.

Keywords: Skill Biased Technological Change; Capital-skills Complementarity; Skill-Enhancing Trade; Brazil (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F16 O33 O54 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 21 pages
Date: 2011-07
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