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Skill-Biased Technological Change and the Business Cycle

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  • Almut Balleer, Thijs van Rens

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. Investment-specific technology shocks reduce the skill premium, indicating that capital and skill are not complementary in aggregate production

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Kiel Working Papers with number 1775.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kie:kieliw:1775

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

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  1. Coen Teuling & Thijs van Rens, 2001. "Education, growth and income inequality," Economics Working Papers 942, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jul 2006.
  2. Robert J. Gordon, 1990. "The Measurement of Durable Goods Prices," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gord90-1, May.
  3. 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.
  4. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Robert Vigfusson, 2003. "What Happens After a Technology Shock?," NBER Working Papers 9819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  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.
  7. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Fatih Guvenen & Serdar Ozkan & Jae Song, 2012. "The nature of countercyclical income risk," Staff Report 476, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

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