IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

The contributions of search and human capital to earnings growth over the life cycle

  • Bowlus, Audra J.
  • Liu, Huju

This paper presents and estimates a unified model where both human capital investment and job search are endogenized. This unification enables us to quantify the relative contributions of each mechanism to life cycle earnings growth, while investigating potential interactions between human capital investment and job search. Within the unified framework, the expectation of rising rental rates of human capital through job search gives workers more incentive to invest in human capital. In addition, unemployed workers reduce their reservation rental rates and increase their search effort to leave unemployment quickly to take advantage of human capital accumulation on the job. The results show both forces are important for earnings growth and the interactions are substantial: human capital accumulation accounts for 50% of total earnings growth, job search accounts for 20%, and the remaining 30% is due to the interactions of the two.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 64 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 305-331

in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:64:y:2013:i:c:p:305-331
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. John Abowd & Martha Stinson, 2011. "Estimating Measurement Error in SIPP Annual Job Earnings: A Comparison of Census Bureau Survey and SSA Administrative Data," Working Papers 11-20, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  2. Browning, Martin & Hansen, Lars Peter & Heckman, James J., 1999. "Micro data and general equilibrium models," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 543-633 Elsevier.
  3. Ronni Pavan, 2006. "Career Choice and Wage Growth," 2006 Meeting Papers 504, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Andreas Hornstein & Per Krusell & Giovanni L. Violante, 2011. "Frictional Wage Dispersion in Search Models: A Quantitative Assessment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 2873-98, December.
  5. Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2002. "Equilibrium Wage Dispersion with Worker and Employer Heterogeneity," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/c8dmi8nm4pd, Sciences Po.
  6. Claudio Michelacci & Josep Pijoan-Mas, 2012. "Intertemporal Labour Supply with Search Frictions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(3), pages 899-931.
  7. Shintaro Yamaguchi, 2006. "Job Search, Bargaining, and Wage Dynamics," ISER Discussion Paper 0658, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  8. Uta Schönberg, 2007. "Wage Growth Due to Human Capital Accumulation and Job Search: A Comparison between the United States and Germany," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 60(4), pages 562-586, July.
  9. Jeremy Lise, 2006. "On-the-Job Search and Precautionary Savings: Theory and Empirics of Earnings and Wealth Inequality," 2006 Meeting Papers 137, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. Christian Dustmann & Costas Meghir, 2005. "Wages, Experience and Seniority," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 77-108.
  11. Burdett, Ken & Carrillo-Tudela, Carlos & Coles, Melvyn, 2009. "Human Capital Accumulation and Labour Market Equilibrium," IZA Discussion Papers 4215, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. repec:oup:qjecon:v:107:y:1992:i:2:p:439-79 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. repec:oup:restud:v:79:y::i:3:p:899-931 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Alan B. Krueger & Andreas Mueller, 2011. "Job Search, Emotional Well-Being and Job Finding in a Period of Mass Unemployment: Evidence from High-Frequency Longitudinal Data," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 42(1 (Spring), pages 1-81.
  15. Bent Jesper Christensen & Rasmus Lentz & Dale T. Mortensen & George R. Neumann & Axel Werwatz, 2005. "On-the-Job Search and the Wage Distribution," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 31-58, January.
  16. Carrillo-Tudela, Carlos, 2012. "Job search, human capital and wage inequality," ISER Working Paper Series 2012-23, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  17. Julien Prat, 2010. "The rate of learning-by-doing: estimates from a search-matching model," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(6), pages 929-962.
  18. Gadi Barlevy, 2008. "Identification of Search Models using Record Statistics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 29-64.
  19. Rendon Sílvio, 2006. "Job Search And Asset Accumulation Under Borrowing Constraints ," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(1), pages 233-263, 02.
  20. Audra J. Bowlus & Nicholas M. Kiefer & George R. Neumann, 1997. "Equilibrium Search Models and The Transition from School to Work," Labor and Demography 9705004, EconWPA.
  21. repec:oup:restud:v:62:y:1995:i:2:p:263-86 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. Jesper Bagger & Francois Fontaine & Jean-Marc Robin, 2014. "Tenure, experience, human capital and wages: a tractable equilibrium search model of wage dynamics," CeMMAP working papers CWP12/14, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  23. H. Bunzel & B. J. Christensen & P. Jensen & N. M. Kiefer & L. Korsholm & L. Muus & G. R. Neumann & M. Rosholm, 2001. "Specification and Estimation of Equilibrium Search Models," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 4(1), pages 90-126, January.
  24. Barron, John M & McCafferty, Stephen, 1977. "Job Search, Labor Supply, and the Quit Decision: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(4), pages 683-91, September.
  25. Blau, David M & Robins, Philip K, 1990. "Job Search Outcomes for the Employed and Unemployed," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(3), pages 637-55, June.
  26. repec:inr:wpaper:155908 is not listed on IDEAS
  27. Krueger, Alan B. & Mueller, Andreas I., 2011. "Job Search and Job Finding in a Period of Mass Unemployment: Evidence from High-Frequency Longitudinal Data," IZA Discussion Papers 5450, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  28. Jeremy Lise, 2013. "On-the-Job Search and Precautionary Savings," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(3), pages 1086-1113.
  29. Goffe, William L. & Ferrier, Gary D. & Rogers, John, 1994. "Global optimization of statistical functions with simulated annealing," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1-2), pages 65-99.
  30. Mueller, Andreas, 2010. "On-the-job search and wage dispersion: New evidence from time use data," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 109(2), pages 124-127, November.
  31. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number minc74-1, December.
  32. Gourieroux, C & Monfort, A & Renault, E, 1993. "Indirect Inference," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(S), pages S85-118, Suppl. De.
  33. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Introduction to "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings"," NBER Chapters, in: Schooling, Experience, and Earnings, pages 1-4 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  34. Dale T. Mortensen, 1977. "Unemployment insurance and job search decisions," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 30(4), pages 505-517, July.
  35. Mark Huggett & Gustavo Ventura & Amir Yaron, 2007. "Sources of Lifetime Inequality," Working Papers gueconwpa~07-07-04, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  36. 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.
  37. James J. Heckman & Lance Lochner & Christopher Taber, 1998. "Explaining Rising Wage Inequality: Explorations with a Dynamic General Equilibrium Model of Labor Earnings with Heterogeneous Agents," NBER Working Papers 6384, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  38. Carl Sanders, 2012. "Skill Uncertainty, Skill Accumulation, and Occupational Choice," 2012 Meeting Papers 633, Society for Economic Dynamics.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:64:y:2013:i:c:p:305-331. 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: (Zhang, Lei)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

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

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.