Document Abstract

Trade and worker deskilling (CEP discussion paper No 1622)

Presents the results of a study looking at the impact of international trade on the labour market in the UK. Looks at what happened to trade and worker outcomes before and after the Brexit referendum vote in June 2016 exploiting the fact that this caused a sizeable depreciation in the value of sterling. Uses individual and industry-level data for the UK, combined with trade data from a variety of sources, to inform the study. Looks at the causal impact of trade on wages and future earnings potential measured by job related education and training of workers. Reports that post-referendum there was a lack of real wages growth in the UK and also a deskilling of workers especially those employed in sectors where the intermediate import price rose by more as a consequence of the sterling depreciation. Considers that the study provides evidence that the decision to leave the EU has already adversely affected workers in ways that were not entirely expected and that it gives evidence on the worker impact of the recent surge in economic nationalism.


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Costa, Rui; Dhingra, Swati; Machin, Stephen
Ref No:
Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)

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