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Unskilled labor and wage determination: an empirical investigation for Germany


Winkelmann, Rainer (1996). Unskilled labor and wage determination: an empirical investigation for Germany. Journal of Population Economics, 9(2):159-171.

Abstract

This article contributes to the ongoing debate on native wage impacts of immigration. I propose a mobile-fixed factor distinction as a framework in which to think about the differential impact of immigration on various labor market groups. Skilled workers are treated as a fixed factor of production since the strong reliance on skill certification in Germany inhibits mobility and shelters from competition. Unskilled workers, in contrast, receive competitive wages. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel for 1984–1989 I estimate panel wage regressions for groups of workers separated by skill certification. I find that university graduates‘ wages increase, and the wages of workers without postsecondary degree decrease, as the industry share of unskilled workers increases. The effect for apprentices is ambiguous.

This article contributes to the ongoing debate on native wage impacts of immigration. I propose a mobile-fixed factor distinction as a framework in which to think about the differential impact of immigration on various labor market groups. Skilled workers are treated as a fixed factor of production since the strong reliance on skill certification in Germany inhibits mobility and shelters from competition. Unskilled workers, in contrast, receive competitive wages. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel for 1984–1989 I estimate panel wage regressions for groups of workers separated by skill certification. I find that university graduates‘ wages increase, and the wages of workers without postsecondary degree decrease, as the industry share of unskilled workers increases. The effect for apprentices is ambiguous.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:1996
Deposited On:11 Feb 2008 12:21
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:17
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0933-1433
Additional Information:The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com.
Publisher DOI:10.1007/PL00003832
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-1186

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