IPR Policy Brief - The global auction for high skilled work: implications for economic policy

Hugh Lauder, Philip Brown

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It is commonly assumed that in the global knowledge economy there is a straightforward relationship between learning and earning. The key finding of research conducted by Phillip Brown (Cardiff University), Hugh Lauder (University of Bath) and David Ashton (University of Leicester) challenges this assumption. In contrast, they argue we have entered a global cut-price competition for brainpower.

At the same time that some occupational elites have been able to use their market power to hike-up their salaries, many university graduates in Britain and the United States, confront a reverse or Dutch auction in which they will be competing with much cheaper graduates in countries like India and China.

The research focussed on the skill strategies of multinational companies and national policy makers in seven countries (South Korea, China, Singapore, India, Germany, the USA and the UK). It involved interviewing executives from multinational corporations (MNCs) in the automotive, banking, electronics and IT sectors.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUniversity of Bath
Publication statusPublished - May 2013


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