IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/bde/wpaper/0835.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Omitted variables in the measure of a labour quality index: the case of Spain

Author

Listed:
  • Aitor Lacuesta

    () (Banco de España)

  • Sergio Puente

    () (Banco de España)

  • Pilar Cuadrado

    () (Banco de España)

Abstract

Traditional measures of labour quality might have the shortcoming of missing some features of the very important increase in labour utilization within European countries. In particular, we explore the case of Spain. Despite showing one of the most important increases in labour quality in the EU according to standard methods, it also offers a negative increase in TFP growth. This paper computes an index of labour quality in Spain between 1988 and 2006 using microdata from the Labour Force Survey and the Structural Earnings Survey-2002 that allows the introduction of all possible interactions in a semi-parametric fashion between gender, age, education, experience in the current job and nationality. Considering those observable characteristics, the index still shows a notable growth at an average annual rate of 0.42 pp. After a period of slight decline (between 1988 and 1992) the index grows continuously until 2006 when it fell again. This is the case because education is, even by considering all possible interactions with other demographic variables, the highest contributor to the quality index’s growth. However, the paper shows the importance of considering changes in average productivities of different socio-demographic groups over time. We include in the analysis two usually omitted variables that help explaining the recent productivity slowdown in Spain: type of occupation held by the individual and unobserved heterogeneity of workers. Both the inclusion of occupation and especially the entry of individuals with below-average productivity levels compared to precedent periods decrease the labour quality growth to an average annual rate of 0.20 pp. Indeed with the addition of these two factors labour quality slightly decreases from 1997 onwards.

Suggested Citation

  • Aitor Lacuesta & Sergio Puente & Pilar Cuadrado, 2009. "Omitted variables in the measure of a labour quality index: the case of Spain," Working Papers 0835, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
  • Handle: RePEc:bde:wpaper:0835
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.bde.es/f/webbde/SES/Secciones/Publicaciones/PublicacionesSeriadas/DocumentosTrabajo/08/Fic/dt0835e.pdf
    File Function: First version, February 2009
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Cristina Fernández & Carolina Ortega, 2008. "Labor market assimilation of immigrants in Spain: employment at the expense of bad job-matches?," Spanish Economic Review, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 83-107, June.
    2. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2008. "The Role of Cognitive Skills in Economic Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(3), pages 607-668, September.
    3. del Rio, Coral & Ruiz-Castillo, Javier, 2001. "Intermediate Inequality and Welfare: The Case of Spain, 1980-81 to 1990-91," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 47(2), pages 221-237, June.
    4. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Sara de la Rica, 2007. "Labour Market Assimilation of Recent Immigrants in Spain," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 45(2), pages 257-284, June.
    5. Mulligan, C. B. & Sala-i-Martin, X., 1997. "A labor income-based measure of the value of human capital: An application to the states of the United States," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 159-191, May.
    6. Olympia Bover & Samuel Bentolila & Manuel Arellano, 2000. "The Distribution of Earnings in Spain During the 1980s: the Effects of Skill, Unemployment, and Union Power," Working Papers 0015, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
    7. Josep Pijoan-Mas & Virginia Sanchez-Marcos, 2010. "Spain is Different: Falling Trends of Inequality," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(1), pages 154-178, January.
    8. Basu, Susanto & Fernald, John G., 2002. "Aggregate productivity and aggregate technology," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(6), pages 963-991, June.
    9. Mulligan, Casey B & Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 2000. "Measuring Aggregate Human Capital," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 215-252, September.
    10. Daniel Aaronson & Daniel G. Sullivan, 2002. "Growth in worker quality," Chicago Fed Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Feb.
    11. Mario Izquierdo & Aitor Lacuesta, 2006. "Wage inequality in Spain: recent developments," Working Papers 0615, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
    12. Sattinger, Michael, 1993. "Assignment Models of the Distribution of Earnings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(2), pages 831-880, June.
    13. Alberto Abadie, 1997. "Changes in Spanish labor income structure during the 1980's: a quantile regression aproach," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 21(2), pages 253-272, May.
    14. 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.
    15. Angel Estrada & J. López-Salido, 2004. "Sectoral and aggregate technology growth in Spain," Spanish Economic Review, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 3-27, April.
    16. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    17. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong Wha, 1996. "International Measures of Schooling Years and Schooling Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 218-223, May.
    18. Amparo Castello & Rafael Domenech, 2002. "Human Capital Inequality and Economic Growth: Some New Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(478), pages 187-200, March.
    19. Juan Mora & Antonia Febrer, 2005. "Wage Distribution In Spain, 1994-1999: An Application Of A Flexible Estimator Of Conditional Distributions," Working Papers. Serie EC 2005-04, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    index number; labour quality; productivity slowdown; unobserved heterogeneity;

    JEL classification:

    • C4 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bde:wpaper:0835. 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: (María Beiro. Electronic Dissemination of Information Unit. Research Department. Banco de España). General contact details of provider: http://www.bde.es/ .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.