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Wage Inequality and Unemployment with Overeducation

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  • Xavier Cuadras-Morató
  • Xavier Mateos-Planas

Abstract

A skill-biased change in technology can account at once for the changes observed in a number of important variables of the US labour market between 1970 and 1990. These include the increasing inequality in wages, both between and within education groups, and the increase in unemployment at all levels of education. In contrast, in previous literature this type of technology shock cannot account for all of these changes. The paper uses a matching model with a segmented labour market, an imperfect correlation between individual ability and education, and a fixed cost of setting up a job. The endogenous increase in overeducation is key to understand the response of unemployment to the technology shock.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 249.

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Date of creation: Jan 2006
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Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:249

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Keywords: Unemployment; wage premium; overeducation; SBTC;

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  1. Giovanni L. Violante, 2002. "Technological Acceleration, Skill Transferability, And The Rise In Residual Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 297-338, February.
  2. Murphy, Kevin M & Welch, Finis, 1992. "The Structure of Wages," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 285-326, February.
  3. Gilles Saint-Paul, 1994. "Are the Unemployed Unemployable?," IMF Working Papers 94/64, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Katz, Lawrence F & Murphy, Kevin M, 1992. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963-1987: Supply and Demand Factors," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 35-78, February.
  5. Oliver Jean Blanchard & Peter Diamond, 1989. "The Beveridge Curve," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 20(1), pages 1-76.
  6. Acemoglu, Daron, 1996. "Changes in Unemployment and Wage Inequality: An Alternative Theory and Some Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 1459, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. David Card & John E. DiNardo, 2002. "Skill Biased Technological Change and Rising Wage Inequality: Some Problems and Puzzles," NBER Working Papers 8769, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Juan J. Dolado & Marcel Jansen & Juan F. Jimeno, 2008. "On the job search in a matching model with heterogeneous jobs and workers," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0813, Banco de Espa�a.
  9. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-42, June.
  10. Jonathan Heathcote & Kjetil Storesletten & Giovanni L. Violante, 2008. "The Macroeconomic Implications of Rising Wage Inequality in the United States," NBER Working Papers 14052, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1997. "Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed the Labor Market?," NBER Working Papers 5956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Xavier Cuadras-Morató & Xavier Mateos-Planas, 2006. "Skill Bias And Employment Frictions In The U.S. Labor Market 1970-1990 ," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(1), pages 129-160, 02.
  13. James Albrecht & Susan Vroman, 2002. "A Matching Model with Endogenous Skill Requirements," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(1), pages 283-305, February.
  14. Edward N. Wolff, 1995. "Technology and the Demand for Skills," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_153, Levy Economics Institute.
  15. Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher A, 1994. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 397-415, July.
  16. Per Krusell & Lee E. Ohanian & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull & Giovanni L. Violante, 1997. "Capital-skill complementarity and inequality: a macroeconomic analysis," Staff Report 239, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  17. Thomas Lemieux, 2006. "Increasing Residual Wage Inequality: Composition Effects, Noisy Data, or Rising Demand for Skill?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 461-498, June.
  18. Hoyt Bleakley & Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 1997. "Shifts in the Beveridge Curve, job matching, and labor market dynamics," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Sep, pages 3-19.
  19. Linda Y. Wong, 2003. "Can the Mortensen-Pissarides Model with Productivity Changes Explain U.S. Wage Inequality?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 70-105, January.
  20. Eric D. Gould, 2002. "Rising Wage Inequality, Comparative Advantage, and the Growing Importance of General Skills in the United States," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(1), pages 105-147, January.
  21. Heathcote, Jonathan & Storesletten, Kjetil & Violante, Giovanni L, 2004. "The Cross-Sectional Implications of Rising Wage Inequality in the United States," CEPR Discussion Papers 4296, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  22. Mark P. Moore & Priya Ranjan, 2005. "Globalisation vs Skill-Biased Technological Change: Implications for Unemployment and Wage Inequality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(503), pages 391-422, 04.
  23. Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher A, 1999. "Unemployment Responses to 'Skill-Biased' Technology Shocks: The Role of Labour Market Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(455), pages 242-65, April.
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