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Technological Revolutions

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  • Francesco Caselli

Abstract

In skill-biased (deskilling) technological revolutions, learning investments required by new machines are greater (smaller) than those required by preexisting machines. Skill-biased (deskilling) revolutions trigger reallocations of capital from slow- (fast-) to fast- (slow-) learning workers, thereby reducing the relative and absolute wages of the former. The model of skill-biased (deskilling) revolutions provides insight into developments since the mid-1970s (in the 1910s). The empirical work documents a large increase in the interindustry dispersion of capital-labor ratios since 1975. Changes in industry capital intensity are related to the skill composition of the labor force.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 89 (1999)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 78-102

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:89:y:1999:i:1:p:78-102

Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.89.1.78
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  1. Eli Berman & John Bound & Stephen Machin, 1997. "Implications of Skill-Biased Technological Change: International Evidence," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 78, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  2. Berman, Eli & Bound, John & Griliches, Zvi, 1994. "Changes in the Demand for Skilled Labor within U.S. Manufacturing: Evidence from the Annual Survey of Manufactures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(2), pages 367-97, May.
  3. Acemoglu, D., 1997. "Why Do New Technologies Complement Skills? Directed Technical Change and Wage Inequality," Working papers 97-14, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. John E. DiNardo & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1996. "The Returns to Computer Use Revisited: Have Pencils Changed the Wage Structure Too?," NBER Working Papers 5606, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Greenwood, J. & Yorukoglu, M., 1996. "1974," RCER Working Papers 429, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  6. Allen, Steven G, 2001. "Technology and the Wage Structure," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 440-83, April.
  7. Chari, V V & Hopenhayn, Hugo, 1991. "Vintage Human Capital, Growth, and the Diffusion of New Technology," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(6), pages 1142-65, December.
  8. Antonio Ciccone, 1996. "Falling real wages during an industrial revolution," Economics Working Papers 195, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  9. Eric J. Bartelsman & Wayne Gray, 1996. "The NBER Manufacturing Productivity Database," NBER Technical Working Papers 0205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Bartel, Ann P & Lichtenberg, Frank R, 1987. "The Comparative Advantage of Educated Workers in Implementing New Technology," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(1), pages 1-11, February.
  11. David, P.A., 1989. "Computer And Dynamo: The Modern Productivity Paradox In A Not-Too Distant Mirror," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 339, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
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