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The Cyclicality of Skill Acquisition: Evidence from Panel Data

Listed author(s):
  • Fabio Méndez
  • Facundo Sepúlveda

This paper presents new empirical evidence regarding the cyclicality of skill acquisition activities. The paper studies both training and schooling episodes at the individual level using quarterly data from the NLSY79 for a period of 19 years. We find that aggregate schooling is strongly countercyclical, while aggregate training is acyclical. Several training categories, however, behave procyclically. The results also indicate that firm-financed training is procyclical, while training financed through other means is countercyclical; and that the cyclicality of skill acquisition investments depends significantly on the educational level and the employment status of the individual. (JEL E24, E32, I20, J24)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/mac.4.3.128
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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aej/mac/data/2010-0168_data.zip
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 4 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 128-152

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:4:y:2012:i:3:p:128-52
Note: DOI: 10.1257/mac.4.3.128
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/aej-macro
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  1. Sakellaris, Plutarchos & Spilimbergo, Antonio, 2000. "Business cycles and investment in human capital: international evidence on higher education," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 221-256, June.
  2. Fukao, Kyoji & Otaki, Masayuki, 1993. "Accumulation of Human Capital and the Business Cycle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(1), pages 73-99, February.
  3. Julian R. Betts & Laurel L. McFarland, 1995. "Safe Port in a Storm: The Impact of Labor Market Conditions on Community College Enrollments," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(4), pages 741-765.
  4. Harris Dellas & Plutarchos Sakellaris, 2003. "On the cyclicality of schooling: theory and evidence," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(1), pages 148-172, January.
  5. Paul J. Devereux & Robert A. Hart, 2007. "The Spot Market Matters: Evidence On Implicit Contracts From Britain," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 54(5), pages 661-683, November.
  6. Boyan Jovanovic, 2006. "Asymmetric Cycles," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 145-162.
  7. Helpman, Elhanan & Rangel, Antonio, 1999. "Adjusting to a New Technology: Experience and Training," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 359-383, December.
  8. Perli, Roberto & Sakellaris, Plutarchos, 1998. "Human capital formation and business cycle persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 67-92, June.
  9. repec:zbw:rwirep:0087 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. David N. DeJong & Beth F. Ingram, 2001. "The Cyclical Behavior of Skill Acquisition," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 4(3), pages 536-561, July.
  11. Einarsson, Tor & Marquis, Milton H., 1997. "Home production with endogenous growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 551-569, August.
  12. Görlitz Katja, 2010. "The Development of Employers’ Training Investments Over Time – A Decomposition Analysis Using German Establishment Data," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 230(2), pages 186-207, April.
  13. King, Ian & Sweetman, Arthur, 2002. "Procyclical Skill Retooling and Equilibrium," Working Papers 162, Department of Economics, The University of Auckland.
  14. Ian King & Arthur Sweetman, 2002. "Procyclical Skill Retooling and Equilibrium Search," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(3), pages 704-717, July.
  15. Gary Solon & Robert Barsky & Jonathan A. Parker, 1994. "Measuring the Cyclicality of Real Wages: How Important is Composition Bias?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(1), pages 1-25.
  16. Robert Gibbons & Michael Waldman, 2006. "Enriching a Theory of Wage and Promotion Dynamics inside Firms," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(1), pages 59-108, January.
  17. Feng, Shuaizhang, 2009. "Return to Training and Establishment Size: A Reexamination of the Size-Wage Puzzle," IZA Discussion Papers 4143, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  18. Daehaeng Kim & Chul-In Lee, 2007. "On-the-Job Human Capital Accumulation in a Real Business Cycle Model: Implications for Intertemporal Substitution Elasticity and Labor Hoarding," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 10(3), pages 494-518, July.
  19. Dellas, Harris & Koubi, Vally, 2003. "Business cycles and schooling," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 843-859, November.
  20. Goerlitz, Katja, 2009. "The Development of Employers' Training Investments Over Time – A Decomposition Analysis Using German Establishment Data," Ruhr Economic Papers 87, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
  21. Barron, John M & Berger, Mark C & Black, Dan A, 1997. "How Well Do We Measure Training?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages 507-528, July.
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