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Technology, Knowledge Spillovers and Changes in Skill Structure

Hugo Hollanders () and Bas ter Weel

No 1, Research Memorandum from Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT)

Abstract: This paper investigates and compares the changes in skill structure in six OECD countries (Finland, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States) in the period 1975-1995 using new OECD data on employment by skill level and type. For all countries evidence is found that technical change is skill-biased in the sense that it favors high-skilled labor. In particular white-collar high-skilled workers have profited from recent technical change. However, rather than employees literally working on R&D it are workers who supervise and use the implemented parts of the advancements of R&D that profit from increased R&D efforts. In addition, the results are extended by stressing the importance of knowledge spillovers on changes in employment shares between high-skilled and low-skilled workers.

Keywords: labour economics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2000
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