The Impact of Global Value Chain Integration on Wages: Evidence from Matched Worker-Industry Data in Thailand
Using a two-stage estimation of matched worker-industry data from 2000 to 2011, this study investigates the impact of global value chain (GVC) integration on wages and the skill premium in 32 industries in Thailand, a country with recent heavy involvement in GVCs. This study employs foreign value added in both final and intermediate goods exports as a proxy for the degree of industry integration in GVCs and applies a panel fixed effects estimation on constructed panel data to investigate its relationship with wages. The main finding indicates that a higher level of industry integration with GVCs leads to higher wages and a higher skill premium, confirming the positive effect of GVC involvement on wages and the complementary effect of high demand for skilled workers in GVC-oriented industries in Thailand. Workers in industries with positions close to the end of the value chain (downstream position) will earn a higher wage than those working in the upstream position. These results have significant policy implications. The Thai government should not only attempt to increase industry involvement in GVCs overall, but also aim to lift industries to higher positions in the GVC to gain the most benefits for Thai workers and the country overall.