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Investment-Specific Technological Change, Skill Accumulation, and Wage Inequality

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  • Hui He

    (University of Hawaii)

  • Zheng Liu

    (Emory University)

Abstract

Wage inequality between education groups in the United States has increased substantially since the early 1980s. The relative number of college-educated workers has also increased dramatically in the postwar period. This paper presents a unified framework where the dynamics of both skill accumulation and wage inequality arise as an equilibrium outcome driven by measured investment-specific technological change. Working through equipment-skill complementarity and endogenous skill accumulation, the model does well in capturing the steady growth in the relative quantity of skilled labor during the postwar period and the substantial rise in wage inequality after the early 1980s. Based on the calibrated model, we examine the quantitative effects of some hypothetical tax-policy reforms on skill accumulation, wage inequality, and welfare. (Copyright: Elsevier)

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.red.2007.08.003
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics in its journal Review of Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 11 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 314-334

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Handle: RePEc:red:issued:06-160

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Related research

Keywords: Skill premium; Skill accumulation; Investment-specific technological change; Capital-skill complementarity;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Afonso, Óscar & Thompson, Maria, 2011. "Costly investment, complementarities and the skill premium," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 2254-2262, September.
  2. Kevin X.D. Huang & Zheng Liu & Tao Zha, 2008. "Learning, adaptive expectations, and technology shocks," Working Paper Series 2008-18, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  3. Ngai, Liwa Rachel & Samaniego, Roberto, 2009. "Mapping prices into productivity in multisector growth models," CEPR Discussion Papers 7318, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Hui He, 2009. "What Drives the Skill Premium: Technological Change or Demographic Variation?," Working Papers 200911, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
  5. Diego Restuccia & Guillaume Vandenbroucke, 2010. "The Evolution of Education: A Macroeconomic Analysis," Working Papers tecipa-388, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  6. Óscar Afonso & Maria Thompson, 2009. "Costly Investment, Complementarities and the Skill Premium," FEP Working Papers 323, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
  7. Dan Breznitz & Amos Zehavi, 2013. "What Does Politics Have to Do with Innovation? Economic Distribution and Innovation Policy in OECD Countries," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 303, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  8. John Bailey Jones & Fang Yang, 2012. "Skill-Biased Technical Change and the Cost of Higher Education," Discussion Papers 12-08, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
  9. Roberto Samaniego, 2013. "Stages of Diversification and Industry Productivity Differences," 2013 Meeting Papers 774, Society for Economic Dynamics.

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