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The assignment of workers to tasks with endogenous supply of skills

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  • DUPUY Arnaud

Abstract

This paper presents a general equilibrium assignment model of workers to tasks with endogenous supply of skills. The model has 2 key features. First, skills are endogenous and multidimensional. Second, two types of assignment occur; workers self-select the type of skills to supply and firms assign workers to tasks/machines. Equilibrium is characterized by two functions mapping skills of each type to tasks and two wage functions, one for each type of skills, so that the wage distributions generally overlap. The model shows that the impact of any given skill-biased technical change on wage inequality is tightly related to the distribution of skills in the population. Productivity effects can be over or under estimated by wage data when the supply of skills is endogenous. The model also shows that Johnson?s (1997) distinction between intensive and extensive technical change is impossible when supply is endogenous.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CEPS/INSTEAD in its series CEPS/INSTEAD Working Paper Series with number 2013-04.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:irs:cepswp:2013-04

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Keywords: tasks assignment; endogenous supply of skills; multidimensional skills; human capital; technical change and usage distribution;

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References

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  1. Patricia Crifo, 2008. "Skill Supply and Biased technical change," Post-Print hal-00243031, HAL.
  2. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 1978. "On the Size Distribution of Business Firms," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 508-523, Autumn.
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  18. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Introduction to "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings"," NBER Chapters, in: Schooling, Experience, and Earnings, pages 1-4 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Maarten Goos & Alan Manning, 2003. "Lousy and Lovely Jobs: the Rising Polarization of Work in Britain," CEP Discussion Papers dp0604, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  20. Arnaud Dupuy, 2008. "The Assignment of Workers to Tasks, Wage Distribution, and Technical Change: A Critical Review," Journal of Income Distribution, Journal of Income Distribution, vol. 17(3-4), pages 12-36, September.
  21. Robert H. Topel, 1997. "Factor Proportions and Relative Wages: The Supply-Side Determinants of Wage Inequality," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 55-74, Spring.
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