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Human Capital and Economic Growth : Dynamic Implications of Insider-outsider Problem for Macroeconomics


  • Shin-ichi Fukuda


  • Robert F. Owen


This paper considers a dynamic model with human capital accumulation, for which both firm-specific skills and general skills are sources of growth. We analyze how the existence of firm-specific skills changes the effects of productivity shocks on economic growth. It is well known that the insider-outsider problem can cause employment inertia in the macro economy because workers with firm-specific skills (insiders) face the hold up problem. However, most previous studies have been static in nature, so that they have paid little attention to dynamic interactions between firm-specific skills and general skills during the adjustment to the new steady state. This paper considers dynamic models that involve creation of human capital from both firm-specific skills and general skills. We show that the insider-outsider problem that is generated through the creation of firm-specific skills can cause a dramatic decline in the youth labor force during a transition path to the steady state. We also show that the problem may result in a temporary economic downturn even if the shock is positive. In Japan, since the mid-1990s, there has been a dramatic increase in the unemployment rate and a substantial decrease in the working population ratio together with increased irregular employment among young people. By analyzing firm-specific human capital as an engine of economic growth, this paper shows that these trends are consistent with our dynamic model. It also demonstrates that the productivity shocks might explain recent dramatic declines in youth employment and temporary declines in growth rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Shin-ichi Fukuda & Robert F. Owen, 2008. "Human Capital and Economic Growth : Dynamic Implications of Insider-outsider Problem for Macroeconomics," Macroeconomics Working Papers 22597, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:eab:macroe:22597

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fumio Hayashi & Edward C. Prescott, 2004. "The 1990s in Japan: a lost decade," Chapters,in: The Economics of an Ageing Population, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Fukao, Kyoji & Otaki, Masayuki, 1993. "Accumulation of Human Capital and the Business Cycle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(1), pages 73-99, February.
    3. Mincer, Jacob & Higuchi, Yoshio, 1988. "Wage structures and labor turnover in the United States and Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 97-133, June.
    4. Fumio Hayashi & Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "The 1990s in Japan: A Lost Decade," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(1), pages 206-235, January.
    5. Masanori Hashimoto, 1990. "The Japanese Labor Market in a Comparative Perspective with the United States," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number jlm, November.
    6. Genda, Yuji & Rebick, Marcus E, 2000. "Japanese Labour in the 1990s: Stability and Stagnation," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 85-102, Summer.
    7. Gary S. Becker, 1975. "Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis, with Special Reference to Education, Second Edition," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck75-1.
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    Cited by:

    1. Guerrazzi, Marco, 2016. "Wage and employment determination in a dynamic insider-outsider model," MPRA Paper 74759, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    firm-specific human capital; labor markets; insider-outsider problem;

    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
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East


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