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Are changes in education important for the wage premium and unemployment?

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A generalized rise in unemployment rates for both college and high-school graduates, a widening education wage premium, and a sharp increase in college education participation are characteristic features of the transformations of the U.S. labor market between 1970 and 1990. This paper investigates the interactions between these changes in the labor market and in educational attainment. First, it develops an equilibrium search and matching model of the labor market where education is endogenously determined. Second, calibrated versions of the model are used to study quantitatively whether either a skill-biased change in technology or a mismatch shock can explain the above facts. The skill-biased shock accounts for a considerable part of the changes but fails to produce the increase in unemployment for the educated labor force. The mismatch shock explains instead much of the change in the four variables, including the wage premium.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 707.

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Date of creation: Mar 2003
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Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:707

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Keywords: Education; wage Premium; unemployment;

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  10. 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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  12. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-42, June.
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  14. Francesco Caselli, 1999. "Technological Revolutions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 78-102, March.
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  16. Robert Haveman & Barbara Wolfe, 1995. "The Determinants of Children's Attainments: A Review of Methods and Findings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1829-1878, December.
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