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Skill-Biased Technological Change and the Business Cycle

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  • Balleer, Almut
  • van Rens, Thijs

Abstract

Over the past two decades, technological progress in the United States has been biased towards skilled labor. What does this imply for business cycles? We construct a quarterly skill premium from the CPS and use it to identify skill-biased technology shocks in a VAR with long-run restrictions. Hours fall in response to skill-biased technology shocks, indicating that at least part of the technology-induced fall in total hours is due to a compositional shift in labor demand. Skill-biased technology shocks have no effect on the relative price of investment, suggesting that capital and skill are not complementary in aggregate production.

Suggested Citation

  • Balleer, Almut & van Rens, Thijs, 2011. "Skill-Biased Technological Change and the Business Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 8410, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8410
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Fatih Guvenen & Serdar Ozkan & Jae Song, 2014. "The Nature of Countercyclical Income Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(3), pages 621-660.
    2. Hutter, Christian & Weber, Enzo, 2017. "The effects of skill-biased technical change on productivity flattening and hours worked," IAB Discussion Paper 201732, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    3. J.I.Lopez & V. Olivella Moppett, 2014. "Financial Shocks and the Cyclical Behavior of Skilled and Unskilled Unemployment," Working papers 496, Banque de France.
    4. Gangopadhyay, Kausik & Nishimura, Atsushi & Pal, Rupayan, 2016. "Can the information technology revolution explain the incidence of co-movement of skill premium and stock prices?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 107-120.
    5. Maté Fodor, 2016. "Essays on Education, Wages and Technology," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/239691, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    6. Naoko Hara & Munechika Katayama & Ryo Kato, 2014. "Rising Skill Premium?: The Roles of Capital-Skill Complementarity and Sectoral Shifts in a Two-Sector Economy," Bank of Japan Working Paper Series 14-E-9, Bank of Japan.
    7. Mennuni, Alessandro, 2013. "Labor Force Composition and Aggregate Fluctuations," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 1302, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
    8. Shim, Myungkyu & Yang, Hee-Seung, 2016. "New stylized facts on occupational employment and their implications: Evidence from consistent employment data," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 402-415.
    9. Hutter, Christian & Weber, Enzo, 2017. "Labour market effects of wage inequality and skill-biased technical change in Germany," IAB Discussion Paper 201705, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].

    More about this item

    Keywords

    business cycle; capital-skill complementarity; long-run restrictions; skill premium; skill-biased technology; VAR;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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