Skill Sorting, Inter-Industry Skill Wage Premium, and Production Chains: Evidence from India 1999-2000
This paper proposes a mechanism that links industry’s technological characteristics (i.e. quality of non-labor inputs, which is proxied by the length of industry production chains), industry-specific skill wage premium, and skill sorting across industries. It is hypothesized that high-skilled workers are sorted into industries where they can receive a higher skill wage premium, by working with better quality non-labor input. The quality of non-labor inputs is assumed to be worse in industries with longer production chains due to the increased involvement of low-skilled labor and poor infrastructure over the sequential production. By examining Indian wage and employment data for 1999-2000, empirical evidence to support this mechanism can be obtained: First, the skill wage premium is lower [higher] in industries with longer [shorter] production chains. Second, the skill wage premium is lower [higher] in industries with a higher [lower] proportion of low-skilled workers producing inputs outside their own industry. Third, the proportion of high-skilled workers is larger in industries with shorter production chains and lower ratio of low-skilled labor involved, i.e., a skill sorting trend can be observed.
Keywords: India, Industry wage, Production chains, Sequential production, Skill wage premium, Skill sorting
JEL classification: J24, J31
Please note that discussion papers are works in various stages of progress and most have not been edited and proofread and may contain errors of fact or judgment. Revised versions of these papers may subsequently appear in more formal publication series. The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s). The IDE does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included and accepts no responsibility for any consequences arising from its use.