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Measuring Skill Intensity of Occupations with Imperfect Substitutability Across Skill Types

  • Barbara Pertold-Gebicka

In absence of a model-based measure of occupational skill-intensity, the litera- ture on wage inequality cannot consistently track technological progress on occu- pational level - a key ingredient of recent theories of labor market polarization. In this paper, I use the March CPS data from 1983 to 2002 to estimate such a measure corresponding to occupation-specific relative productivities of college and high-school educated. With imperfect substitution across skill types, the measure- ment of relative productivities requires estimation of substitution elasticities, and I propose a simple strategy to obtain these. The resulting measure is used to shed light on the modified skill-biased technological change hypothesis proposed by Autor et al. (2006).

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Paper provided by The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague in its series CERGE-EI Working Papers with number wp421.

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Date of creation: Oct 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cer:papers:wp421
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  1. Jeff Larrimore & Richard Burkhauser & Shuaizhang Feng & Laura Zayatz, 2008. "Consistent Cell Means for Topcoded Incomes in the Public Use March CPS (1976-2007)," Working Papers 08-06, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  2. Griliches, Zvi & Mason, William M, 1972. "Education, Income, and Ability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(3), pages S74-S103, Part II, .
  3. Maarten Goos & Alan Manning, 2003. "Lousy and Lovely Jobs: the Rising Polarization of Work in Britain," CEP Discussion Papers dp0604, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  4. Lawrence F. Katz & Kevin M. Murphy, 1992. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963–1987: Supply and Demand Factors," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 35-78.
  5. Peter Gottschalk & Michael Hansen, 1999. "Is the Proportion of College Workers in 'Non-College' Jobs Increasing?," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 429, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 20 Feb 2001.
  6. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2006. "The Polarization of the U.S. Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 11986, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. David Card & Thomas Lemieux, 2000. "Can Falling Supply Explain the Rising Return to College for Younger Men? A Cohort-Based Analysis," NBER Working Papers 7655, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2008. "Trends in U.S. Wage Inequality: Revising the Revisionists," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 300-323, May.
  9. Jaeger, David A, 1997. "Reconciling the Old and New Census Bureau Education Questions: Recommendations for Researchers," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 15(3), pages 300-309, July.
  10. David Card & John E. DiNardo, 2002. "Skill Biased Technological Change and Rising Wage Inequality: Some Problems and Puzzles," NBER Working Papers 8769, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. David Autor & David Dorn, 2009. "This Job is 'Getting Old:' Measuring Changes in Job Opportunities Using Occupational Age Structure," NBER Working Papers 14652, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Daron Acemoglu & David Autor, 2010. "Skills, Tasks and Technologies: Implications for Employment and Earnings," NBER Working Papers 16082, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2003. "The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
  14. Paracchi, F. & Welch, F., 1992. "How Representative Are Matched Cross Sections? Evidence from the Current Population Survey," Working Papers 92-53, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  15. Maarten Goos & Alan Manning, 2003. "Lousy and lovely jobs: the rising polarization of work in Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20002, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  16. Peter B. Meyer & Anastasiya M. Osborne, 2005. "Proposed Category System for 1960-2000 Census Occupations," Working Papers 383, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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