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Innovation, Wages, and Polarization in China

Fleisher, Belton and McGuire, William and Su, Yaqin and Zhao, Min Qiang (2018): Innovation, Wages, and Polarization in China.

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Using data from CHIPS 1995-2013, we find polarization of employment from middle-income Skilled jobs to work in the Unskilled and Self-Employment job categories. This redistribution of employment is consistent with the automation of routine noncognitive tasks in the skilled sector as analyzed in a number of papers on advanced economies and some work on the Chinese economy. While the Unskilled and Self-Employment jobs remain below median income, the redistribution of employment has not been associated with a commensurate polarization of labor income. We find no evidence of polarization of either employment or income at the upper end of the job-skill spectrum.

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