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Human capital, social mobility and the skill premium

  • Konstantinos, Angelopoulos
  • James, Malley
  • Apostolis, Philippopoulos

This paper develops a dynamic general equilibrium model to highlight the role of human capital accumulation of agents differentiated by skill type in the joint determination of social mobility and the skill premium. We first show that our model captures the empirical co-movement of the skill premium, the relative supply of skilled to unskilled workers and aggregate output in the U.S. data from 1970-2000. We next show that endogenous social mobility and human capital accumulation are key channels through which the effects of capital tax cuts and increases in public spending on both pre- and post-college education are transmitted. In particular, social mobility creates additional incentives for the agents which enhance the beneficial effects of policy reforms. Moreover, the dynamics of human capital accumulation imply that, post reform, the skill premium is higher in the short- to medium-run than in the long-run.

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File URL: http://repo.sire.ac.uk/handle/10943/482
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Paper provided by Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE) in its series SIRE Discussion Papers with number 2013-55.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:edn:sirdps:482
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  1. Angelopoulos, Konstantinos & Jiang, Wei & Malley, James, 2011. "The distributional consequences of tax reforms under market distortions," SIRE Discussion Papers 2011-73, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  2. David M. Arseneau & Sanjay K. Chugh, 2009. "Tax smoothing in frictional labor markets," International Finance Discussion Papers 965, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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  7. Jason G. Cummins & Giovanni L. Violante, 2002. "Investment-specific technical change in the US (1947-2000): measurement and macroeconomics consequences," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2002-10, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  8. Teresa Garcia-Milà & Albert Marcet & Eva Ventura, 1995. "Supply side interventions and redistribution," Economics Working Papers 115, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  9. Tamura, Robert, 1991. "Income Convergence in an Endogenous Growth Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 522-40, June.
  10. 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.
  11. Angelopoulos, Konstantinos & Jiang, Wei & Malley, James R., 2013. "Tax reforms under market distortions in product and labour markets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 28-42.
  12. Oded Galor & Omer Moav & Dietrich Vollrath, 2009. "Inequality in Landownership, the Emergence of Human-Capital Promoting Institutions, and the Great Divergence," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(1), pages 143-179.
  13. Eicher, T. & Garcia-Penalosa, C., 1999. "Inequality and Growth: the Dual Role of Human Capital in Development," G.R.E.Q.A.M. 99a47, Universite Aix-Marseille III.
  14. N. Gregory Mankiw & Matthew C. Weinzierl & Danny Yagan, 2009. "Optimal Taxation in Theory and Practice," Harvard Business School Working Papers 09-140, Harvard Business School.
  15. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2000. "Ability-Biased Technological Transition, Wage Inequality, And Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(2), pages 469-497, May.
  16. He, Hui, 2012. "What drives the skill premium: Technological change or demographic variation?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1546-1572.
  17. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  18. Piketty, Thomas, 1995. "Social Mobility and Redistributive Politics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 551-84, August.
  19. Maoz, Yishay D. & Moav, Omer, 2004. "Social Stratification, Capital Skill Complementarity, And The Nonmonotonic Evolution Of The Education Premium," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(03), pages 295-309, June.
  20. Katz, Lawrence F & Murphy, Kevin M, 1992. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963-1987: Supply and Demand Factors," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 35-78, February.
  21. Ardagna, Silvia, 2007. "Fiscal Policy in Unionized Labor Markets," Scholarly Articles 2580048, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  22. Guido Cozzi & Giammario Impullitti, 2008. "Government spending composition, technical change and wage inequality," Working Papers 2009_02, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  23. Konstantinos Angelopoulos & Bernardo X. Fernandez & James R. Malley, 2014. "The Distributional Consequences of Tax Reforms Under Capital–Skill Complementarity," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 81(324), pages 747-767, October.
  24. Heckman, James J & Lochner, Lance & Taber, Christopher, 1998. "Tax Policy and Human-Capital Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 293-97, May.
  25. David Card & John E. DiNardo, 2002. "Skill-Biased Technological Change and Rising Wage Inequality: Some Problems and Puzzles," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(4), pages 733-783, October.
  26. Perli, Roberto & Sakellaris, Plutarchos, 1998. "Human capital formation and business cycle persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 67-92, June.
  27. Thomas Lemieux & David Card, 2001. "Going to College to Avoid the Draft: The Unintended Legacy of the Vietnam War," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 97-102, May.
  28. Ardagna, Silvia, 2007. "Fiscal policy in unionized labor markets," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 1498-1534, May.
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