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Measuring Growth of Labor Quality and the Quality-Adjusted Unemployment Rate in Switzerland

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  • Thomas Bolli
  • Mathias Zurlinden

Abstract

This paper presents results on human capital accumulation for the Swiss economy. We find that the index of labor quality has grown at a rate of 0.5% per year from 1991 to 2006. The main sources are the growth in average levels of education and the passing of the baby boom cohort through the age structure of the workforce. Projections over the period 2006-2050 suggest that labor quality growth will slow down with time. We also calculate a quality-adjusted unemployment rate and find that the unemployment rate is reduced by about 0.3 pp when human capital accumulation is taken into account.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Bolli & Mathias Zurlinden, 2009. "Measuring Growth of Labor Quality and the Quality-Adjusted Unemployment Rate in Switzerland," Applied Economics Quarterly (formerly: Konjunkturpolitik), Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 55(2), pages 121-145.
  • Handle: RePEc:aeq:aeqaeq:v55_y2009_i2_q2_p121-145
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dorothe Bonjour & Michael Gerfin, 2001. "The unequal distribution of unequal pay - An empirical analysis of the gender wage gap in Switzerland," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 407-427.
    2. Daniel Aaronson & Daniel G. Sullivan, 2002. "Growth in worker quality," Chicago Fed Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Feb.
    3. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & David N. Margolis, 1999. "High Wage Workers and High Wage Firms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(2), pages 251-334, March.
    4. Guido Schwerdt & Jarkko Turunen, 2007. "Growth In Euro Area Labor Quality," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 53(4), pages 716-734, December.
    5. Venetia Bell & Pablo Burriel-Llombart & Jerry Jones, 2005. "A quality-adjusted labour input series for the United Kingdom (1975-2002)," Bank of England working papers 280, Bank of England.
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    Cited by:

    1. Michael Graff & Massimo Mannino & Michael Siegenthaler, 2014. "The Swiss "Job Miracle"," KOF Working papers 14-368, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    2. Thomas Bolli & Mathias Zurlinden, 2012. "Measurement of labour quality growth caused by unobservable characteristics," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(18), pages 2297-2308, June.
    3. Barbara Rudolf & Mathias Zurlinden, 2010. "Productivity and Economic Growth in Switzerland 1991-2006," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 146(III), pages 577-600, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    human capital; labor quality; unemployment rate;

    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

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