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Ageing and the skill portfolio: Evidence from job based skill measures

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  • Bowlus, Audra J.
  • Mori, Hiroaki
  • Robinson, Chris

Abstract

The evolution of human capital over the life-cycle, especially during the accumulation phase, has been extensively studied within an optimal human capital investment framework. Given the ageing of the workforce, there is increasing interest in the human capital of older workers. The most recent research on wage patterns has adopted a new multidimensional skills/tasks approach. We argue that this approach is also well suited to the investigation of the evolution of the human capital of older workers. There is clear evidence that the typical concave Ben-Porath shape for a wage based single dimension human capital measure masks different shapes for the individual components in a multi-dimensional skill portfolio. Not all components evolve in the same way over the life-cycle. Some components of the skill vector are particularly sensitive to ageing effects for older workers, but this sensitivity is under-estimated using occupation level rather than individual level skill observations. The evidence suggests that workers can and do adjust their skill portfolios in various ways as they approach retirement and that the decline in skills is not purely driven by selection.

Suggested Citation

  • Bowlus, Audra J. & Mori, Hiroaki & Robinson, Chris, 2016. "Ageing and the skill portfolio: Evidence from job based skill measures," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 7(C), pages 89-103.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joecag:v:7:y:2016:i:c:p:89-103
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jeoa.2016.02.003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Costas Cavounidis & Kevin Lang, 2017. "Ben-Porath meets Lazear: Lifetime Skill Investment and Occupation Choice with Multiple Skills," NBER Working Papers 23367, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Edle von Gaessler, Anne & Ziesemer, Thomas, 2017. "Ageing, human capital and demographic dividends with endogenous growth, labour supply and foreign capital," MERIT Working Papers 043, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    3. Andrew Agopsowicz & Chris Robinson & Ralph Stinebrickner & Todd Stinebrickner, 2017. "Careers and Mismatch for College Graduates: College and Non-college Jobs," University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP) Working Papers 20174, University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP).

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    Keywords

    Ageing; Skills; Human capital;

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