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Skill-Biased Technological Change and the Business Cycle

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  • Balleer, Almut
  • van Rens, Thijs

Abstract

Over the past two decades, technological progress in the United States has been biased towards skilled labor. What does this imply for business cycles? We construct a quarterly skill premium from the CPS and use it to identify skill-biased technology shocks in a VAR with long-run restrictions. Hours fall in response to skill-biased technology shocks, indicating that at least part of the technology-induced fall in total hours is due to a compositional shift in labor demand. Skill-biased technology shocks have no effect on the relative price of investment, suggesting that capital and skill are not complementary in aggregate production.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8410.

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Date of creation: Jun 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8410

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Keywords: business cycle; capital-skill complementarity; long-run restrictions; skill premium; skill-biased technology; VAR;

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References

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  1. Lindquist, Matthew J., 2002. "Capital-Skill Complementarity and Inequality Over the Business Cycle," Research Papers in Economics 2002:14, Stockholm University, Department of Economics, revised 01 Sep 2003.
  2. Coen N. Teulings & Thijs van Rens, 2002. "Education, Growth and Income Inequality," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-001/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 05 Mar 2003.
  3. Michael Keane & Eswar Prasad, 1993. "Skill Levels and the Cyclical Variability of Employment, Hours, and Wages," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 40(4), pages 711-743, December.
  4. Canova, Fabio & López-Salido, J David & Michelacci, Claudio, 2008. "The Effects of Technology Shocks on Hours and Output: A Robustness Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 6720, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Robert Vigfusson, 2003. "What happens after a technology shock?," International Finance Discussion Papers 768, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  6. Gordon, Robert J., 1990. "The Measurement of Durable Goods Prices," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226304557, January.
  7. Robert J. Gordon, 1990. "The Measurement of Durable Goods Prices," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gord90-1, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Fatih Guvenen & Serdar Ozkan & Jae Song, 2014. "The Nature of Countercyclical Income Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(3), pages 621 - 660.
  2. Mennuni, Alessandro, 2013. "Labor Force Composition and Aggregate Fluctuations," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 1302, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.

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