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Skill Biased Financial Development: Education, Wages and Occupations in the U.S. Financial Sector

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  • Thomas Philippon
  • Ariell Reshef

Abstract

Over the past 60 years, the U.S. financial sector has grown from 2.3% to 7.7% of GDP. While the growth in the share of value added has been fairly linear, it hides a dramatic change in the composition of skills and occupations. In the early 1980s, the financial sector started paying higher wages and hiring more skilled individuals than the rest of economy. These trends reflect a shift away from low-skill jobs and towards market-oriented activities within the sector. Our evidence suggests that technological and financial innovations both played a role in this transformation. We also document an increase in relative wages, controlling for education, which partly reflects an increase in unemployment risk: Finance jobs used to be safer than other jobs in the private sector, but this is not longer the case.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13437.

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Date of creation: Sep 2007
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Publication status: published as “Wages and Human Capital in the U.S. Financial Industry: 1909 - 2006,” with Ariell Reshef, Quarterly Journal of Economic s , November 2012
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13437

Note: CF DAE EFG LS
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Biais, Bruno & Rochet, Jean-Charles & Woolley, Paul, 2009. "The Lifecycle of the Financial Sector and Other Speculative Industries," IDEI Working Papers 549, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  2. James Crotty, 2009. "The Bonus-Driven “Rainmaker” Financial Firm: How These Firms Enrich Top Employees, Destroy Shareholder Value and Create Systemic Financial Instability," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2009-13, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  3. Bruno Biais & Jean-Charles Rochet & Paul Woolley, 2010. "Innovations, rents and risk," FMG Discussion Papers dp659, Financial Markets Group.
  4. Ariell Reshef, 2013. "Is Technological Change Biased Towards the Unskilled in Services? An Empirical Investigation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(2), pages 312-331, April.
  5. Salvatore Morelli, 2014. "Banking Crises in the US: the Response of Top Income Shares in a Historical Perspective," CSEF Working Papers 359, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  6. Andrew W Lo, 2009. "Regulatory reform in the wake of the financial crisis of 2007-2008," Journal of Financial Economic Policy, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 1(1), pages 4-43, April.
  7. Reinhart, Carmen & Felton, Andrew, 2009. "The first global financial crisis of the 21st century: Part II, June-December, 2008," MPRA Paper 13604, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Thomas Philippon & Ariell Reshef, 2009. "Wages and Human Capital in the U.S. Financial Industry: 1909-2006," NBER Working Papers 14644, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Thomas Philippon & Yuliy Sannikov, 2007. "Real Options in a Dynamic Agency Model, with Applications to Financial Development, IPOs, and Business Risk," NBER Working Papers 13584, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Burak Dindaroglu, 2010. "Intra-Industry Knowledge Spillovers and Scientific Labor Mobility," Discussion Papers 10-01, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
  11. Thomas Philippon, 2007. "Why Has the U.S. Financial Sector Grown so Much? The Role of Corporate Finance," NBER Working Papers 13405, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Andrew W. Lo & Mark T. Mueller, 2010. "WARNING: Physics Envy May Be Hazardous To Your Wealth!," Papers 1003.2688, arXiv.org, revised Mar 2010.
  13. Thomas Philippon, 2007. "Financiers vs. Engineers: Should the Financial Sector be Taxed or Subsidized?," NBER Working Papers 13560, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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