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Human Capital Specificity: Evidence from the Dictionary of Occupational Titles and Displaced Worker Surveys 1984-2000

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This paper uses information from the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) and Displaced Worker Surveys (DWS) to provide evidence on the source of human capital specificity. Measures of four basic skills are constructed from the detailed DOT information. These measures are used to characterize the skill portfolio of each job and to construct distance measures between jobs. The pattern of wage losses from the DWS shows that large losses are more closely associated with switching skill portfolios than switching industry or occupation code per se and that these switches represent large decreases in the underlying skill portfolio in the post-displacement job. The recent evidence for industry specific capital is re-examined. An analysis using the same methods as Neal (1995) that incorporates the skill portfolio measures provides further evidence in favor of broad skill based specificity.

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Paper provided by University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity in its series University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers with number 20083.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:uwo:hcuwoc:20083

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Postal: CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity, Social Science Centre, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada N6A 5C2
Phone: 519-661-2111 Ext.85244
Web page: http://economics.uwo.ca/research/research_papers/cibc_workingpapers.html

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  1. Maxim Poletaev & Chris Robinson, 2004. "Human Capital Specificity: Direct and Indirect Evidence from Canadian and US Panels and Displaced Worker Surveys," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20042, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
  2. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & David N. Margolis, 1994. "High Wage Workers and High Wage Firms," NBER Working Papers 4917, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Parent, Daniel, 2000. "Industry-Specific Capital and the Wage Profile: Evidence from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(2), pages 306-23, April.
  4. Gueorgui Kambourov & Iourii Manovskii, 2009. "Occupational Specificity Of Human Capital," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(1), pages 63-115, 02.
  5. Katharine G. Abraham & Henry S. Farber, 1986. "Job Duration, Seniority and Earnings," Working papers 407, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. Ingram, Beth F. & Neumann, George R., 2006. "The returns to skill," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 35-59, February.
  7. Ronni Pavan, 2011. "Career Choice and Wage Growth," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(3), pages 549 - 587.
  8. Gueorgui Kambourov & Iourii Manovskii, 2001. "Rising Occupational and Industry Mobility in the United States:1968-1993," PIER Working Paper Archive 04-012, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 05 Jul 2004.
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