Relative Earnings and the Demand for Unskilled Labor in West German Manufacturing


Steiner, Viktor ; Wagner, Kersten


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URL: http://ub-madoc.bib.uni-mannheim.de/698
URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-6984
Document Type: Working paper
Year of publication: 1997
Publication language: English
Institution: Sonstige Einrichtungen > ZEW - Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung
MADOC publication series: Veröffentlichungen des ZEW (Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung) > ZEW Discussion Papers
Subject: 330 Economics
Classification: JEL: J23 J31 ,
Subject headings (SWD): Deutschland , Beschäftigungsentwicklung , Lohn , Internationaler Wettbewerb
Abstract: We analyze the economic factors which have contributed to the dramatic decline of the employment share of unskilled labor in German manufacturing, in particular the role played by the relatively rigid earnings structure. Potential effects of intensified international competition and skill–biased technological change on the relative employment and earnings position of unskilled workers are also discussed. We find that the substitution elasticity between unskilled and skilled labor is rather low. The decline in the employment share of unskilled workers attributable to an inflexible earnings structure therefore seems to have been modest compared to the trend decline in the skills ratio. We also find some modest effects from international competition and technological change on the employment share of unskilled labor.
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Steiner, Viktor ; Wagner, Kersten (1997) Relative Earnings and the Demand for Unskilled Labor in West German Manufacturing. Open Access [Working paper]
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