EconStor >
Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (IZA), Bonn >
IZA Discussion Papers, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (IZA) >

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:

http://hdl.handle.net/10419/20551
  
Title:Technical Change and the Wage Structure During the Second Industrial Revolution : Evidence from the Merchant Marine, 1865-1912 PDF Logo
Authors:Chin, Aimee
Juhn, Chinhui
Thompson, Peter
Issue Date:2004
Series/Report no.:IZA Discussion paper series 1285
Abstract:Using a large, individual-level wage data set, we examine the impact of a major technological innovation – the steam engine – on skill demand and the wage structure in the merchant shipping industry. We find that the technical change created a new demand for skilled workers, the engineers, while destroying demand for workers with skills relevant only to sail. It had a deskilling effect on production work – able-bodied seamen (essentially, artisans) were replaced by unskilled engine room operatives. On the other hand, mates and ablebodied seamen employed on steam earned a premium relative to their counterparts on sail. A wholesale switch from sail to steam would increase the 90/10 wage ratio by 40%, with most of the rise in inequality coming from the creation of the engineer occupation.
Subjects:wage inequality
skill premium
skill-biased technical change
JEL:H52
J62
I21
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:IZA Discussion Papers, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (IZA)

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat
dp1285.pdf627.67 kBAdobe PDF
No. of Downloads: Counter Stats
Download bibliographical data as: BibTeX
Share on:http://hdl.handle.net/10419/20551

Items in EconStor are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.