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Far away from a skill-biased change: falling educational wage premia in Italy

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In this article we apply quantile regressions to investigate the evolution of Educational Wage Premia (EWP) in Italy from 1993 to 2004. Using the Survey of the Household Income and Wealth (SHIW, Bank of Italy) and different classifications for educational attainments, we show that, in the private sector, EWP have generally decreased over time, considering both continuous and categorical specifications for education, at all quantiles of the wage distribution. Different patterns are observed in the public sector, where EWP remain basically stable over time. A number of robustness checks and various econometric specifications are also applied in order to address sample selection issues. Our findings provide additional evidence in favour of the thesis that the increasing patterns in inequality and EWP, and the related interpretations concerning skill-biased changes, are much less pronounced in continental Europe than in Anglo-Saxon countries.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche, University of Rome 'La Sapienza', Rome, Italy 2: Dipartimento di Economia, Finanza e Statistica, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy 3: ISFOL, Rome, Italy

Publication date: October 1, 2010

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