Factor-Biased Technological Change and the Skill Premium: A Cross-Country Evidence
Attempts to explain the determinants and the dynamics of wage differentials between skilled and unskilled labor have formed one of the most controversial topics in economics. The reason for such an intense interest in inequality in earnings between workers with different skill levels is the dramatic increase in wage inequality in the United States in the 1980s. However, the extent of wage differentials has substantially varied across countries over the recent decades. These different patterns across countries allow the factors contributing to wage inequality to be identified as a high priority research area. Skill-biased technical change is considered to be one of the factors contributing to wage inequality. This way of technical change favors highly skilled labor over less-skilled labor by increasing its relative demand and its earnings. This increase in the relative demand, as a rule, is caused by the appropriate increase in the relative productivity of more skilled workers. The other leading hypothesis that has emerged to explain the rapid changes in the wage inequality in the U.S. and some other countries over the recent decades is increased international trade between developed and developing countries. According to the standard Heckscher-Ohlin theory of international trade, countries endeavor to export goods that intensively use those resources they have in relative abundance. Thus, skill-abundant countries tend to be net exporters of those goods that intensively use skilled labor, while skill-scarce countries tend to be net exporters of those goods that intensively use unskilled labor. Furthermore, by virtue of the Stolper-Samuelson theorem, it increases the skill premium in developed countries and reduces it in developing countries. Therefore, the impact of increasing international trade with developing counties on the skill premium and welfare of unskilled labor in developed countries has been at the centre of a heated debate. This paper analyzes trends in wage inequality and returns to education in a number of OECD and non-OECD countries over the recent decades. A theoretical model is developed to explain empirical observations. The paper examines the impact of skill-biased technological change and trade liberalization on wage inequality across different countries.
Smoking is a problem, bringing signifi cant social and economic costs to Russiansociety. However, ratifi cation of the World health organization Framework conventionon tobacco control makes it possible to improve Russian legislation accordingto the international standards. So, I describe some measures that should be taken bythe Russian authorities in the nearest future, and I examine their effi ciency. By studyingthe international evidence I analyze the impact of the smoke-free areas, advertisementand sponsorship bans, tax increases, etc. on the prevalence of smoking, cigaretteconsumption and some other indicators. I also investigate the obstacles confrontingthe Russian authorities when they introduce new policy measures and the public attitudetowards these measures. I conclude that there is a number of easy-to-implementanti-smoking activities that need no fi nancial resources but only a political will.
One of the most important indicators of company's success is the increase of its value. The article investigates traditional methods of company's value assessment and the evidence that the application of these methods is incorrect in the new stage of economy. So it is necessary to create a new method of valuation based on the new main sources of company's success that is its intellectual capital.