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Technical Change And The Demand For Skills By U.S. Industries

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  • Howell, David R.
  • Wolff, Edward N.

Abstract

Previous studies have explained the demand for skills, usually measured by schooling attainment, by either factor price substitution, capital-skill complementarity, or technology-skill complementarity. The authors explore this demand with direct job-based measures of cognitive (CS), interactive (IS), and motor (MS) skills in a single model that includes all three sets of possible determinants. The results raise doubts about the adequacy of schooling as a measure of skill and TFP growth as an index of technical change. The authors find little support for capital-skill complementarity; capital-intensity and its growth are significantly inversely related to CS and MS levels and growth. Technical change is unambiguously linked to increasing CS, rising professional/technical shares, and declining operative/laborer shares. The effects on MS and IS are mixed, but young capital increases craft shares, and computer-intensity decreases supervisory and clerical/service shares. Copyright 1992 by Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University in its series Working Papers with number 90-41.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 1990
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cvs:starer:90-41

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Postal: C.V. Starr Center, Department of Economics, New York University, 19 W. 4th Street, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 998-8936
Fax: (212) 995-3932
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Web page: http://econ.as.nyu.edu/object/econ.cvstarr.html
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Postal: C.V. Starr Center, Department of Economics, New York University, 19 W. 4th Street, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10012
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Related research

Keywords: job analysis ; schooling ; training ; policy making;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Wolff, Edward N., 2000. "Human capital investment and economic growth: exploring the cross-country evidence," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 433-472, December.
  2. David H. Autor, 2007. "Structural demand shifts and potential labor supply responses in the new century," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 52.
  3. Stuart Glosser & Lonnie Golden, 2005. "Is labour becoming more or less flexible? Changing dynamic behaviour and asymmetries of labour input in US manufacturing," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(4), pages 535-557, July.
  4. Consoli, Davide & Elche-Hortelano, Dioni, 2010. "Variety in the knowledge base of Knowledge Intensive Business Services," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(10), pages 1303-1310, December.
  5. Wang, Q. & von Tunzelmann, N., 2000. "Complexity and the functions of the firm: breadth and depth," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(7-8), pages 805-818, August.
  6. Davide Consoli & Dioni Elche, 2013. "The evolving knowledge base of professional service sectors," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 477-501, April.
  7. Francesco Vona & Davide Consoli, 2011. "Innovation and skill dynamics: a life - cycle approach," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2011-26, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  8. Hannes Leo, 2001. "European Skills Shortage in ICT and Policy Responses," WIFO Working Papers 163, WIFO.
  9. Hollanders,Hugo & Weel,Bas,ter, 1998. "Skill-Biased Technological Change in an Endogenous Growth Model," Research Memorandum 016, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).

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