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The Assignment of Workers to Tasks, Wage Distribution, and Technical Change: A Critical Review

Listed author(s):
  • Arnaud Dupuy

    ()

    (Maastricht University)

This article reviews the literature on two-sided atomless assignment models of workers to tasks. Using simple parametric examples, the fundamental differences between the comparative-advantage and the scale-of-operations models are illustrated. Holding the distributions of abilities and tasks and the production function of worker-task pairs constant, the two principles are shown to produce different wage distributions and wage inequality. These models are useful to evaluate the general equilibrium effect of technical change on the wage structure. In all models, Skill Biased Technical Change that impacts the production function of worker-task pairs leads to rising wage inequality.

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File URL: http://jid.journals.yorku.ca/index.php/jid/article/view/18128
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Article provided by Journal of Income Distribution in its journal Journal of Income Distribution.

Volume (Year): 17 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3-4 (September-December)
Pages: 12-36

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Handle: RePEc:jid:journl:y:2008:v:17:i:3-4:p:12-36
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  1. Robert Shimer & Lones Smith, 2000. "Assortative Matching and Search," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 343-370, March.
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  16. Teulings, Coen N, 1995. "The Wage Distribution in a Model of the Assignment of Skills to Jobs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(2), pages 280-315, April.
  17. Dupuy, Arnaud, 2007. "Educational Self-Selection, Tasks Assignment and Rising Wage Inequality," IZA Discussion Papers 3154, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  21. Yona Rubinstein & James J. Heckman, 2001. "The Importance of Noncognitive Skills: Lessons from the GED Testing Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 145-149, May.
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