Coordinating the accumulation of physical and human capital in different institutional settings
This paper presents an out-of-equilibrium model to explain differences in the capacity to absorb new skill-biased technologies. The usual mainstream viewpoint focusing only on the role of labour markets will be re-examined in a context characterized by a sequential structure of both the processes of production and the skill formation, whose interaction brings about coordination failures harming the viability of the innovation process. Our out-of-equilibrium approach allows us to consider the more general interplay between stylized labour and product market characteristics, on the one hand, and educational policies, on the other hand. The robust results of the simulations show that educational policies appear to be important in restoring the required coordination both in rigid and in flexible systems, but for different reasons. In the former case, educational policies financed by taxation allow the system to escape a low-productivity final equilibrium. In the latter case, they contrast the financial constraint associated with a large decrease in the unskilled wage. Altogether, a moderate degree of rigidity seems to be the most appropriate institutional environment to reach the targets of viability and of a full exploitation of the technological potential.
Volume (Year): 21 (2012)
Issue (Month): 7 (October)
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