Technology, Trade and Skills in Brazil: Some Evidence from Microdata


  • DISCE - Quaderni del Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali


  • Brazil was characterized by a marked process of trade liberalization in the ‘90s, resulting in a dramatic increase in the volumes of exports and imports since the year 2000. Over the same period, the relative demand for skilled labor has increased substantially. To investigate whether these two simultaneous phenomena are linked is the purpose of this paper. More in particular, this study focuses on the possible impact of domestic technology, capital complementarity and trade openness on the relative demand for skilled labor in Brazilian manufacturing firms, using a unique panel database (resulting from merging three different statistical sources) of Brazilian manufacturing firms over the period 1997-2005. Descriptive statistics show that the increase in the relative demand for skilled labor was mainly driven by the within-industry variation, supporting the hypothesis that technology (and in particular technological transfer from richer countries) may have played a role in determining the skill-upgrading of Brazilian manufacturing firms. The econometric results further support this hypothesis. Indeed, the estimations show that domestic technology and capital formation are complements for the skilled workers and that imported capital goods clearly act as a skill-enhancing component of trade.

fecha de publicación

  • 2011-07

Líneas de investigación

  • Brazil
  • Capital-skills Complementarity
  • Skill Biased
  • Skill-Enhancing Trade
  • Technological Change


  • dises1171