A Model of Multi-Dimensional Human Capital Investment: Specific vs. general investments under uncertainty
Specialization and the division of labor are the sources of high productivity in modern society. When worker skills are multi-dimensional, workers may face a choice between general versus specific human capital investment. Given that individual agents face uncertainty in the relative output price, what are the optimal strategies for heterogeneous individual agents in human capital investment? In the absence of insurance markets, general investment gives an option value for changes in the environment. We analyze a model in which workers are born heterogeneous and are endowed with two-dimensional skills in different sectors, to determine if incentives exist for workers to invest in skills in which they had originally excelled or struggled. We find that some workers choose to invest in their weaker skill, via specific human capital investment, provided that the scale of the risk is big and that the parameter of relative risk aversion is greater than one. We find that there exist agents whose optimal human capital investment decisions reverse their ex ante comparative advantages ex post.
|Date of creation:||Jul 2011|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 11th floor, Annex, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) 1-3-1, Kasumigaseki Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 100-8901|
Web page: http://www.rieti.go.jp/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Arnaud Costinot & Jonathan Vogel, 2010.
"Matching and Inequality in the World Economy,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(4), pages 747-786, 08.
- Arnaud Costinot & Jonathan Vogel, 2009. "Matching and Inequality in the World Economy," NBER Working Papers 14672, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jonathan Vogel & Arnaud Costinot, 2008. "Matching and Inequality in the World Economy," 2008 Meeting Papers 879, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Franziska Ohnsorge & Daniel Trefler, 2007. "Sorting It Out: International Trade with Heterogeneous Workers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(5), pages 868-892, October.
- Spiros Bougheas & Raymond Riezman, 2013.
"Trade and the distribution of human capital,"
World Scientific Book Chapters,
in: International Trade Agreements and Political Economy, chapter 20, pages 395-407
World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
- Deaton,Angus & Muellbauer,John, 1980. "Economics and Consumer Behavior," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521296762, June.
- Ehrlich, Isaac & Becker, Gary S, 1972. "Market Insurance, Self-Insurance, and Self-Protection," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(4), pages 623-48, July-Aug..
- Findlay, Ronald & Kierzkowski, Henryk, 1983. "International Trade and Human Capital: A Simple General Equilibrium Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(6), pages 957-78, December.
- Rod Falvey & David Greenaway & Joana Silva, .
"Trade Liberalisation and Human Capital Adjustment,"
07/34, University of Nottingham, GEP.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eti:dpaper:11056. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (NUKATANI Sorahiko)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.