IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/aejmac/v12y2020i1p210-44.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Multidimensional Skill Mismatch

Author

Listed:
  • Fatih Guvenen
  • Burhan Kuruscu
  • Satoshi Tanaka
  • David Wiczer

Abstract

What determines the earnings of a worker relative to his peers in the same occupation? What makes a worker fail in one occupation but succeed in another? More broadly, what are the factors that determine the productivity of a worker-occupation match? To help answer questions like these, we propose an empirical measure of multidimensional skill mismatch that is based on the discrepancy between the portfolio of skills required by an occupation and the portfolio of abilities possessed by a worker for learning those skills. This measure arises naturally in a dynamic model of occupational choice and human capital accumulation with multidimensional skills and Bayesian learning about one's ability to learn skills. Not only does mismatch depress wage growth in the current occupation, it also leaves a scarring effect—by stunting skill acquisition—that reduces wages in future occupations. Mismatch also predicts different aspects of occupational switching behavior. We construct the empirical analog of our skill mismatch measure from readily available US panel data on individuals and occupations and find empirical support for these implications. The magnitudes of these effects are large: moving from the worst- to the best-matched decile can improve wages by 11 percent per year for the rest of one's career.

Suggested Citation

  • Fatih Guvenen & Burhan Kuruscu & Satoshi Tanaka & David Wiczer, 2020. "Multidimensional Skill Mismatch," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 210-244, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:12:y:2020:i:1:p:210-44
    DOI: 10.1257/mac.20160241
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.aeaweb.org/doi/10.1257/mac.20160241
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://www.aeaweb.org/doi/10.1257/mac.20160241.data
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://www.aeaweb.org/doi/10.1257/mac.20160241.ds
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1257/mac.20160241?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Joseph G. Altonji & Prashant Bharadwaj & Fabian Lange, 2012. "Changes in the Characteristics of American Youth: Implications for Adult Outcomes," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(4), pages 783-828.
    2. Miller, Robert A, 1984. "Job Matching and Occupational Choice," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(6), pages 1086-1120, December.
    3. Flinn, Christopher J, 1986. "Wages and Job Mobility of Young Workers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 88-110, June.
    4. Jeremy Lise & Fabien Postel-Vinay, 2020. "Multidimensional Skills, Sorting, and Human Capital Accumulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 110(8), pages 2328-2376, August.
    5. Mark Huggett & Gustavo Ventura & Amir Yaron, 2011. "Sources of Lifetime Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 2923-2954, December.
    6. Michaud, Amanda & Wiczer, David, 2018. "Occupational hazards and social disability insurance," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 77-92.
    7. Ludo Visschers & Carlos Carrillo-Tudela, 2011. "Unemployment and Endogenous Reallocation over the Business Cycle," 2011 Meeting Papers 1101, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. Edward P. Lazear, 2009. "Firm-Specific Human Capital: A Skill-Weights Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(5), pages 914-940, October.
    9. Joseph G. Altonji & Charles R. Pierret, 2001. "Employer Learning and Statistical Discrimination," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 313-350.
    10. Mortensen, Dale & Pissarides, Christopher, 2011. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 1, pages 1-19.
    11. Fatih Guvenen, 2007. "Learning Your Earning: Are Labor Income Shocks Really Very Persistent?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 687-712, June.
    12. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 411-482, July.
    13. Christina Gathmann & Uta Schönberg, 2010. "How General Is Human Capital? A Task-Based Approach," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(1), pages 1-49, January.
    14. Peter Fredriksson & Lena Hensvik & Oskar Nordström Skans, 2018. "Mismatch of Talent: Evidence on Match Quality, Entry Wages, and Job Mobility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(11), pages 3303-3338, November.
    15. Ronni Pavan, 2011. "Career Choice and Wage Growth," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(3), pages 549-587.
    16. Moshe Buchinsky & Denis Fougère & Francis Kramarz & Rusty Tchernis, 2010. "Interfirm Mobility, Wages and the Returns to Seniority and Experience in the United States," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(3), pages 972-1001.
    17. 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 306-323, April.
    18. Robert H. Topel & Michael P. Ward, 1992. "Job Mobility and the Careers of Young Men," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 439-479.
    19. Theodore Papageorgiou, 2014. "Learning Your Comparative Advantages," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(3), pages 1263-1295.
    20. Gervais, Martin & Jaimovich, Nir & Siu, Henry E. & Yedid-Levi, Yaniv, 2016. "What should I be when I grow up? Occupations and unemployment over the life cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 54-70.
    21. Robert Gibbons & Lawrence F. Katz & Thomas Lemieux & Daniel Parent, 2005. "Comparative Advantage, Learning, and Sectoral Wage Determination," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(4), pages 681-724, October.
    22. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-990, October.
    23. Topel, Robert H, 1991. "Specific Capital, Mobility, and Wages: Wages Rise with Job Seniority," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(1), pages 145-176, February.
    24. Marigee P. Bacolod & Bernardo S. Blum, 2010. "Two Sides of the Same Coin: U.S. "Residual" Inequality and the Gender Gap," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(1).
    25. Kate Antonovics & Limor Golan, 2012. "Experimentation and Job Choice," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(2), pages 333-366.
    26. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2003. "The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
    27. Shintaro Yamaguchi, 2012. "Tasks and Heterogeneous Human Capital," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 1-53.
    28. Henry S. Farber & Robert Gibbons, 1996. "Learning and Wage Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(4), pages 1007-1047.
    29. Fane Groes & Philipp Kircher & Iourii Manovskii, 2015. "The U-Shapes of Occupational Mobility," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(2), pages 659-692.
    30. Carrillo-Tudela, Carlos & Visschers, Ludo, 2014. "Unemployment and Endogenous Reallocation over the Business Cycle," 2007 Annual Meeting, July 29-August 1, 2007, Portland, Oregon TN 2015-35, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    31. Bound, John & Brown, Charles & Mathiowetz, Nancy, 2001. "Measurement error in survey data," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 59, pages 3705-3843, Elsevier.
    32. Sherwin Rosen, 1972. "Learning and Experience in the Labor Market," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 7(3), pages 326-342.
    33. Ingram, Beth F. & Neumann, George R., 2006. "The returns to skill," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 35-59, February.
    34. Jamin D. Speer, 2017. "Pre-Market Skills, Occupational Choice, and Career Progression," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 52(1), pages 187-246.
    35. Melissa Osborne & Herbert Gintis & Samuel Bowles, 2001. "The Determinants of Earnings: A Behavioral Approach," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1137-1176, December.
    36. Carrillo-Tudela, Carlos & Visschers, Ludo, 2013. "Unemployment and endogenous reallocation over the business cycle," ISER Working Paper Series 2013-01, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    37. Arellano, M, 1987. "Computing Robust Standard Errors for Within-Groups Estimators," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 49(4), pages 431-434, November.
    38. Neal, Derek, 1999. "The Complexity of Job Mobility among Young Men," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(2), pages 237-261, April.
    39. Ludo Visschers & Carlos Carrillo-Tudela, 2011. "Unemployment and Endogenous Reallocation over the Business Cycle," 2011 Meeting Papers 1101, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    40. Gueorgui Kambourov & Iourii Manovskii, 2008. "Rising Occupational And Industry Mobility In The United States: 1968-97," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(1), pages 41-79, February.
    41. Maxim Poletaev & Chris Robinson, 2008. "Human Capital Specificity: Evidence from the Dictionary of Occupational Titles and Displaced Worker Surveys, 1984-2000," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(3), pages 387-420, July.
    42. Giuseppe Moscarini, 2001. "Excess Worker Reallocation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(3), pages 593-612.
    43. Yoram Ben-Porath, 1967. "The Production of Human Capital and the Life Cycle of Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 352-352.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Carl Sanders & Christopher Taber, 2012. "Life-Cycle Wage Growth and Heterogeneous Human Capital," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 4(1), pages 399-425, July.
    2. Pedros Silos & Eric Smith, 2015. "Human Capital Portfolios," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(3), pages 635-652, July.
    3. Papageorgiou, Theodore, 2018. "Large firms and within firm occupational reallocation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 174(C), pages 184-223.
    4. Theodore Papageorgiou, 2022. "Occupational Matching and Cities," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 82-132, July.
    5. Gathmann, Christina & Schönberg, Uta, 2006. "How General Is Specific Human Capital?," IZA Discussion Papers 2485, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Theodore Papageorgiou, 2020. "Occupational Matching and Cities," Working Papers 2020-049, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    7. Ralph Stinebrickner & Todd Stinebrickner & Paul Sullivan, 2019. "Job Tasks, Time Allocation, and Wages," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(2), pages 399-433.
    8. Kate Antonovics & Limor Golan, 2012. "Experimentation and Job Choice," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(2), pages 333-366.
    9. Carl Sanders, 2012. "Skill Uncertainty, Skill Accumulation, and Occupational Choice," 2012 Meeting Papers 633, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    10. Shintaro Yamaguchi, 2012. "Tasks and Heterogeneous Human Capital," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 1-53.
    11. Christina Gathmann & Uta Schönberg, 2010. "How General Is Human Capital? A Task-Based Approach," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(1), pages 1-49, January.
    12. Isaac Baley & Ana Figueiredo & Robert Ulbricht, 2022. "Mismatch Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 130(11), pages 2943-2984.
    13. Zsolt Csáfordi & László Lőrincz & Balázs Lengyel & Károly Miklós Kiss, 2020. "Productivity spillovers through labor flows: productivity gap, multinational experience and industry relatedness," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 86-121, February.
    14. Böhm, Michael Johannes & Gaudecker, Hans-Martin von & Schran, Felix, 2019. "Occupation Growth, Skill Prices, and Wage Inequality," IZA Discussion Papers 12647, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    15. Satoshi Tanaka & David Wiczer & Burhanettin Kuruscu & Fatih Guvenen, 2015. "Occupational Switching and Self-Discovery in the Labor Market," 2015 Meeting Papers 1181, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    16. Carrillo-Tudela, Carlos & Hobijn, Bart & She, Powen & Visschers, Ludo, 2016. "The extent and cyclicality of career changes: Evidence for the U.K," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 18-41.
    17. Isaac Baley & Ana Figueiredo & Robert Ulbricht, 2018. "Mismatch Cycles," 2018 Meeting Papers 1098, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    18. Stijepic Damir, 2020. "Job Mobility and Sorting: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 240(1), pages 19-49, February.
    19. Uta Schoenberg & Christina Gathmann, 2006. "How General is Specific Human Capital? Using Mobility Patterns to Study Skill Transferability in the Labor Market," 2006 Meeting Papers 598, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    20. Arellano-Bover, Jaime, 2020. "Career Consequences of Firm Heterogeneity for Young Workers: First Job and Firm Size," IZA Discussion Papers 12969, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:12:y:2020:i:1:p:210-44. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Michael P. Albert (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.