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Rising Skill Premium?: The Roles of Capital-Skill Complementarity and Sectoral Shifts in a Two-Sector Economy

Listed author(s):
  • Naoko Hara

    (Bank of Japan)

  • Munechika Katayama

    (Kyoto University)

  • Ryo Kato

    (Bank of Japan)

Empirical studies report a marked dispersion in skill-premium changes across economies over the past few decades. Structural models in early studies successfully replicate the increases in skill premiums in many economies, while some other cases with a decline in the skill premium are yet to be explained. To this end, we develop a two-sector (i.e., manufacturing and non-manufacturing) general equilibrium model with skilled and unskilled labor, in which degrees of capital-skill complementarity differ across sectors. Based on the estimated structural parameters, we show that a decline in capital-skill complementarity in the non-manufacturing sector can provide a consistent explanation for the following aspects of the Japanese data at both the aggregate and industry levels: (i) a decline in the skill premium, (ii) widening of the sectoral wage gap due to a rise in manufacturing wages and decline in non-manufacturing wages, and (iii) an increase in the unskilled labor share in the non-manufacturing sector. We interpret that this change reflects compositional effects and uneven technology adoption of firms within non-manufacturing.

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File URL: http://www.boj.or.jp/en/research/wps_rev/wps_2014/data/wp14e09.pdf
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Paper provided by Bank of Japan in its series Bank of Japan Working Paper Series with number 14-E-9.

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Date of creation: 28 Oct 2014
Handle: RePEc:boj:bojwps:wp14e09
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  1. John Geweke, 1999. "Using simulation methods for bayesian econometric models: inference, development,and communication," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(1), pages 1-73.
  2. Almut Balleer & Thijs van Rens, 2013. "Skill-Biased Technological Change and the Business Cycle," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(4), pages 1222-1237, October.
  3. Linnea Polgreen & Pedro Silos, 2008. "Capital-Skill Complementarity and Inequality: A Sensitivity Analysis," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(2), pages 302-313, April.
  4. Kondo, Ayako & Naganuma, Saori, 2015. "Inter-industry labor reallocation and task distance," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 127-147.
  5. Fernando Parro, 2013. "Capital-Skill Complementarity and the Skill Premium in a Quantitative Model of Trade," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 72-117, April.
  6. Sugo, Tomohiro & Ueda, Kozo, 2008. "Estimating a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model for Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 476-502, December.
  7. Marquis, Milton & Trehan, Bharat, 2010. "Relative productivity growth and the secular "decline" of U.S. manufacturing," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 67-74, February.
  8. John Geweke, 1999. "Using Simulation Methods for Bayesian Econometric Models," Computing in Economics and Finance 1999 832, Society for Computational Economics.
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