What Does Human Capital Do? A Review of Goldin and Katz's The Race between Education and Technology
AbstractGoldin and Katz’s The Race between Education and Technology is a monumental achievement that supplies a unified framework for interpreting how the demand and supply of human capital have shaped the distribution of earnings in the U.S. labor market over the 20th century. This essay reviews the theoretical and conceptual underpinnings of this work and documents the success of Goldin and Katz’s framework in accounting for numerous broad labor market trends. The essay also considers areas where the framework falls short in explaining several key labor market puzzles of recent decades and argues that these shortcomings can potentially be overcome by relaxing the implicit equivalence drawn between workers’ skills and their job tasks in the conceptual framework on which Goldin and Katz build. The essay argues that allowing for a richer set of interactions between skills and technologies in accomplishing job tasks both augments and refines the predictions of Goldin and Katz’s approach and suggests an even more important role for human capital in economic growth than indicated by their analysis.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17820.
Date of creation: Feb 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as -(with David Autor) What Does Human Capital Do? A Review of Goldin and Katz's Race between Education and Technology, June 2012, Journal of Economic Literature, 50(2), pp. 426–463.
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
- J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
- O14 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
- O31 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
- O33 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-02-20 (All new papers)
- NEP-BEC-2012-02-20 (Business Economics)
- NEP-HRM-2012-02-20 (Human Capital & Human Resource Management)
- NEP-LAB-2012-02-20 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-LMA-2012-02-20 (Labor Markets - Supply, Demand, & Wages)
- NEP-LTV-2012-02-20 (Unemployment, Inequality & Poverty)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Jonathan Vogel & Arnaud Costinot, 2008.
"Matching and Inequality in the World Economy,"
2008 Meeting Papers
879, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Heckman, James J. & LaFontaine, Paul A., 2007.
"The American High School Graduation Rate: Trends and Levels,"
IZA Discussion Papers
3216, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- James J. Heckman & Paul A. LaFontaine, 2010. "The American High School Graduation Rate: Trends and Levels," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(2), pages 244-262, May.
- James J. Heckman & Paul A. LaFontaine, 2007. "The American High School Graduation Rate: Trends and Levels," NBER Working Papers 13670, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- James J. Heckman & Paul A. LaFontaine, 2008. "The American High School Graduation Rate: Trends And Levels," Working Papers 200828, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
- Katharine G. Abraham & James R. Spletzer & Michael Harper, 2010. "Labor in the New Economy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number abra08-1, October.
Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Piero Cipollone, Andrea Cutillo, 2013. "Overeducation Or Asymmetric Information?," RIEDS - Rivista Italiana di Economia, Demografia e Statistica - Italian Review of Economics, Demography and Statistics, SIEDS Societa' Italiana di Economia Demografia e Statistica, vol. 0(2), pages 123-138, April-Jun.
- Sánchez-Romero, Miguel & Sambt, Jože & Prskawetz, Alexia, 2013.
"Quantifying the role of alternative pension reforms on the Austrian economy,"
Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 94-114.
- Sánchez-Romero, Miguel & Sambt, Jože & Prskawetz, Alexia, 2012. "Quantifying the role of alternative pension reforms on the Austrian economy," ECON WPS - Vienna University of Technology Working Papers in Economic Theory and Policy 04/2012, Vienna University of Technology, Institute for Mathematical Methods in Economics, Research Group Economics (ECON).
- Miguel Sánchez Romero & Joze Sambt & Alexia Prskawetz, 2012. "Quantifying the role of alternative pension reforms on the Austrian economy," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2012-026, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
- Aretz, Bodo, 2013. "Gender Differences in German Wage Mobility," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 80003, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
- Aretz, Bodo, 2013.
"Gender differences in German wage mobility,"
ZEW Discussion Papers
13-003, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
- Dora Costa, 2013. "Health and the Economy in the United States, from 1750 to the Present," NBER Working Papers 19685, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Salverda, Wiemer & Checchi, Daniele, 2014. "Labour-Market Institutions and the Dispersion of Wage Earnings," IZA Discussion Papers 8220, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Piper, Alan T., 2012. "A Happiness Test of Human Capital Theory," MPRA Paper 43496, University Library of Munich, Germany.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.