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Vintage capital as an origin of inequalities

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  • Andreas Hornstein
  • Per Krussell
  • Giovanni L. Violante

Abstract

Does capital-embodied technological change play an important role in shaping labour market inequalities? This Paper addresses the question in a model with vintage capital and search/matching frictions where costly capital investment leads to large heterogeneity in productivity among vacancies in equilibrium. The Paper first demonstrates analytically how both technology growth and institutional variables affect equilibrium wage inequality, income shares and unemployment. Next, it applies the model to a quantitative evaluation of capital as an origin of wage inequality: at the current rate of embodied productivity growth a 10-year vintage differential in capital translates into a 6% wage gap. The model also allows a US – Continental Europe comparison: an embodied technological acceleration interacted with different labour market institutions can explain a significant part of the differential rise in unemployment and capital share and some of the differential dynamics in wage inequality.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond in its series Working Paper with number 02-02.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedrwp:02-02

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Keywords: Labor market ; Unemployment;

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References

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  1. Jason G. Cummins & Giovanni L. Violante, 2002. "Investment-specific technical change in the US (1947-2000): measurement and macroeconomics consequences," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2002-10, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Leonardi, Marco, 2003. "Firms' Heterogeneity in Capital/Labor Ratios and Wage Inequality," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 136, Royal Economic Society.
  2. Fabio Canova & David Lopez-Salido & Claudio Michelacci, 2006. "Schumpeterian technology shocks," Economics Working Papers 1012, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Nov 2007.
  3. Christopher Pissarides & Giovanna Vallanti, 2004. "Productivity growth and employment: theory and panel estimates," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2189, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Xavier Cuadras Morató & Xavier Mateos Planas, 2003. "Are changes in education important for the wage premium and unemployment?," Economics Working Papers 707, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  5. Marco Leonardi, 2007. "Firm heterogeneity in capital-labour ratios and wage inequality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(518), pages 375-398, 03.
  6. Claudio Michelacci & David Lopez-Salido, 2004. "Technology Shocks And Job Flows," Working Papers wp2004_05, CEMFI.

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