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Occupation Mobility, Human Capital and the Aggregate Consequences of Task-Biased Innovations

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  • Maximiliano Dvorkin
  • Alexander Monge-Naranjo

Abstract

We construct a dynamic general equilibrium model with occupation mobility, human capital accumulation and endogenous assignment of workers to tasks to quantitatively assess the aggregate impact of automation and other task-biased technological innovations. We extend recent quantitative general equilibrium Roy models to a setting with dynamic occupational choices and human capital accumulation. We provide a set of conditions for the problem of workers to be written in recursive form and provide a sharp characterization for the optimal mobility of individual workers and for the aggregate supply of skills across occupations. We craft our dynamic Roy model in a production setting where multiple tasks within occupations are assigned to workers or machines. We solve for the balanced-growth path and characterize the aggregate transitional dynamics ensuing task-biased technological innovations. In our quantitative analysis of the impact of task-biased innovations in the U.S. since 1980, we find that they account for an increased aggregate output in the order of 75% and for a much higher dispersion in earnings. If the U.S. economy had larger barriers to mobility it would have experienced less job polarization but substantially higher inequality and lower output as occupation mobility has provided an \"escape\" for the losers from automation.

Suggested Citation

  • Maximiliano Dvorkin & Alexander Monge-Naranjo, 2019. "Occupation Mobility, Human Capital and the Aggregate Consequences of Task-Biased Innovations," Working Papers 2019-13, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2019-013
    DOI: 10.20955/wp.2019.013
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    Cited by:

    1. KIKUCHI Shinnosuke & KITAO Sagiri, 2020. "Welfare Effects of Polarization: Occupational Mobility over the Life-cycle," Discussion papers 20043, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    2. Banfi, Stefano & Choi, Sekyu & Villena-Roldán, Benjamín, 2022. "Sorting on-line and on-time," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 146(C).
    3. Jan Eeckhout & Christoph Hedtrich & Roberto Pinheiro, 2021. "IT and Urban Polarization," Working Papers 21-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    4. Maximiliano Dvorkin, 2023. "Heterogeneous Agents Dynamic Spatial General Equilibrium," Working Papers 2023-005, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    5. Santiago Garcia-Couto, 2020. "Beyond Labor Market Polarization," 2020 Papers pga567, Job Market Papers.
    6. Maliar, Lilia & Maliar, Serguei & Tsener, Inna, 2022. "Capital-skill complementarity and inequality: Twenty years after," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 220(C).
    7. Freund, L. B., 2022. "Superstar Teams: The Micro Origins and Macro Implications of Coworker Complementarities," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 2276, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    8. Hong Cheng & Lukasz A. Drozd & Rahul Giri & Mathieu Taschereau-Dumouchel & Junjie Xia, 2021. "The Future of Labor: Automation and the Labor Share in the Second Machine Age," Working Papers 20-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    9. Rodrigo Adão & Martin Beraja & Nitya Pandalai-Nayar, 2020. "Technological Transitions with Skill Heterogeneity Across Generations," NBER Working Papers 26625, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Wacks, Johannes, 2021. "Labor Market Polarization with Hand-to-Mouth Households," VfS Annual Conference 2021 (Virtual Conference): Climate Economics 242391, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Dynamic Roy models; automation; human capital; aggregation; general equilibrium;
    All these keywords.

    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
    • E25 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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