Biagi F. (2012).

Earning Profiles for Italian Male Workers: Is There Evidence of a Premium for Education?. JCR Technical Reports, European Commision.




This report investigates the evolution of both the education-premium and gross wage inequality in Italy in the period 1987-2006. This is a period in which many countries (particularly the US, but also the UK) experienced increases in both the skill premium and (gross) wage inequality. Both facts have been interpreted as evidence of skill-biased technological change, i.e. of changes in the relative demand for labour deriving from technological change favouring skilled workers over unskilled ones. The main factor considered to be the driver of these changes is the diffusion of ICT, as ICT complements skilled labour and is also a substitute for unskilled labour. While the results from this study cannot be immediately generalized to other countries, the paper is particularly interesting for its methodological approach, as it uses repeated cross-sections to create pseudo panels that are then used to estimate the wage profiles of different groups of Italian male workers (according to their age and education) and wage inequality in the relevant period. As such, this report is relevant for the labour market (and related policies) aspects of the Innovation Policies and the Digital Agenda research lines, carried out by the Information Society (IS) Unit at JRC-IPTS in the context of the IDEA Action during the last two years.