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The Rise of the Service Economy

  • Francisco J. Buera
  • Joseph P. Kaboski

This paper analyzes the role of specialized high-skilled labor in the disproportionate growth of the service sector. Empirically, the importance of skill-intensive services has risen during a period of increasing relative wages and quantities of high-skilled labor. We develop a theory in which demand shifts toward more skill- intensive output as productivity rises, increasing the importance of market services relative to home production. Consistent with the data, the theory predicts a rising level of skill, skill premium, and relative price of services that is linked to this skill premium. (JEL J24, L80, L90)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.102.6.2540
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 102 (2012)
Issue (Month): 6 (October)
Pages: 2540-69

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:102:y:2012:i:6:p:2540-69
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  1. Cohen, Daniel & Soto, Marcelo, 2001. "Growth and Human Capital: Good Data, Good Results," CEPR Discussion Papers 3025, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Kiminori Matsuyama, 2002. "The Rise of Mass Consumption Societies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(5), pages 1035-1070, October.
  3. Zvi Griliches, 1992. "Output Measurement in the Service Sectors," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gril92-1.
  4. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1989. "Income Distribution, Market Size, and Industrialization," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(3), pages 537-564.
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  6. L. Rachel Ngai & Christopher A. Pissarides, 2007. "Structural Change in a Multisector Model of Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 429-443, March.
  7. Kiminori Matsuyama, 2000. "A Ricardian Model with a Continuum of Goods under Nonhomothetic Preferences: Demand Complementarities, Income Distribution, and North-South Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1093-1120, December.
  8. Katouzian, M A, 1970. "The Development of the Service Sector: A New Approach," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(3), pages 362-82, November.
  9. Lawrence F. Katz & Kevin M. Murphy, 1991. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963-1987: Supply and Demand Factors," NBER Working Papers 3927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Locay, Luis, 1990. "Economic Development and the Division of Production between Households and Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 965-82, October.
  11. George J. Stigler, 1956. "Trends in Employment in the Service Industries," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number stig56-1.
  12. Richard Rogerson, 2008. "Structural Transformation and the Deterioration of European Labor Market Outcomes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(2), pages 235-259, 04.
  13. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 1999. "The Returns to Skill in the United States across the Twentieth Century," NBER Working Papers 7126, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. 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.
  15. Benhabib, Jess & Rogerson, Richard & Wright, Randall, 1991. "Homework in Macroeconomics: Household Production and Aggregate Fluctuations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(6), pages 1166-87, December.
  16. Joseph K. Kaboski, 2009. "Education, Sectoral Composition and Growth," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(1), pages 168-182, January.
  17. Kuznets, Simon, 1973. "Modern Economic Growth: Findings and Reflections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 247-58, June.
  18. Donghoon Lee & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2004. "Intersectoral Labor Mobility and the Growth of the Service Sector," PIER Working Paper Archive 04-036, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  19. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy, 2007. "Education and Consumption: The Effects of Education in the Household Compared to the Marketplace," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 9-35.
  20. Zvi Griliches, 1992. "Introduction to "Output Measurement in the Service Sectors"," NBER Chapters, in: Output Measurement in the Service Sectors, pages 1-22 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Buera, Francisco J. & Kaboski, Joseph P., 2012. "Scale and the origins of structural change," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(2), pages 684-712.
  22. Victor R. Fuchs, 1968. "The Service Economy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number fuch68-1.
  23. de Vries, Jan, 1994. "The Industrial Revolution and the Industrious Revolution," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(02), pages 249-270, June.
  24. Francesco Caselli, 1999. "Technological Revolutions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 78-102, March.
  25. Echevarria, Cristina, 1997. "Changes in Sectoral Composition Associated with Economic Growth," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(2), pages 431-52, May.
  26. Victor R. Fuchs, 1968. "Some Implications of the Growth of a Service Economy," NBER Chapters, in: The Service Economy, pages 183-199 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Maddison, Angus, 1987. "Growth and Slowdown in Advanced Capitalist Economies: Techniques of Quantitative Assessment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 649-98, June.
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