IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/fip/fedmwp/644.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Investment-specific technological change, skill accumulation, and wage inequality

Author

Listed:
  • Hui He
  • Zheng Liu

Abstract

Wage inequality between education groups in the United States has increased substantially since the early 1980s. The relative number of college-educated workers has also increased dramatically in the postwar period. This paper presents a unified framework where the dynamics of both skill accumulation and wage inequality arise as an equilibrium outcome driven by measured investment-specific technological change. Working through equipment-skill complementarity and endogenous skill accumulation, the model does well in capturing the steady growth in the relative quantity of skilled labor during the postwar period and the substantial rise in wage inequality after the early 1980s. Based on the calibrated model, we examine the quantitative effects of some hypothetical tax-policy reforms on skill accumulation, wage inequality, and welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Hui He & Zheng Liu, 2007. "Investment-specific technological change, skill accumulation, and wage inequality," Working Papers 644, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmwp:644
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.minneapolisfed.org/research/common/pub_detail.cfm?pb_autonum_id=1061
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.minneapolisfed.org/research/WP/WP644.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. repec:ucp:bknber:9780226304557 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:cup:macdyn:v:6:y:2002:i:3:p:408-28 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Greenwood, Jeremy & Yorukoglu, Mehmet, 1997. "1974," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 49-95, June.
      • Greenwood, J. & Yorukoglu, M., 1996. "1974," RCER Working Papers 429, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
    4. Mendoza, Enrique G. & Razin, Assaf & Tesar, Linda L., 1994. "Effective tax rates in macroeconomics: Cross-country estimates of tax rates on factor incomes and consumption," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 297-323, December.
    5. John Duffy & Chris Papageorgiou & Fidel Perez-Sebastian, 2004. "Capital-Skill Complementarity? Evidence from a Panel of Countries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 327-344, February.
    6. Perli, Roberto & Sakellaris, Plutarchos, 1998. "Human capital formation and business cycle persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 67-92, June.
    7. Katz, Lawrence F. & Autor, David H., 1999. "Changes in the wage structure and earnings inequality," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1463-1555 Elsevier.
    8. Griliches, Zvi, 1969. "Capital-Skill Complementarity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(4), pages 465-468, November.
    9. McGrattan, Ellen R., 1994. "The macroeconomic effects of distortionary taxation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 573-601, June.
    10. Per Krusell & Lee E. Ohanian & JosÈ-Victor RÌos-Rull & Giovanni L. Violante, 2000. "Capital-Skill Complementarity and Inequality: A Macroeconomic Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1029-1054, September.
    11. Philippe Aghion, 2002. "Schumpeterian Growth Theory and the Dynamics of Income Inequality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(3), pages 855-882, May.
    12. Daron Acemoglu, 1998. "Why Do New Technologies Complement Skills? Directed Technical Change and Wage Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1055-1089.
    13. James Heckman & Lance Lochner & Christopher Taber, 1998. "Explaining Rising Wage Inequality: Explanations With A Dynamic General Equilibrium Model of Labor Earnings With Heterogeneous Agents," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(1), pages 1-58, January.
    14. Haley, William J, 1976. "Estimation of the Earnings Profile from Optimal Human Capital Accumulation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(6), pages 1223-1238, November.
    15. Daron Acemoglu, 2002. "Directed Technical Change," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 781-809.
    16. Selo Imrohoroglu & Kaiji Chen & Ayse Imrohoroglu, 2005. "Japanese Saving Rate," 2005 Meeting Papers 747, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    17. repec:lsu:lsuwpp:2003-12 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Blankenau, William F. & Ingram, Beth F., 2002. "Welfare Implications Of Factor Taxation With Rising Wage Inequality," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(03), pages 408-428, June.
    19. Daron Acemoglu, 2002. "Technical Change, Inequality, and the Labor Market," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(1), pages 7-72, March.
    20. David Domeij & Jonathan Heathcote, 2004. "On The Distributional Effects Of Reducing Capital Taxes," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(2), pages 523-554, May.
    21. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Krusell, Per, 1997. "Long-Run Implications of Investment-Specific Technological Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 342-362, June.
    22. William Blankenau, 1999. "A Welfare Analysis of Policy Responses to the Skilled Wage Premium," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(4), pages 820-849, October.
    23. Yoram Ben-Porath, 1967. "The Production of Human Capital and the Life Cycle of Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 352-352.
    24. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-622, May.
    25. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1998. "Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed the Labor Market?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1169-1213.
    26. Juan C. Conesa & Dirk Krueger, 1999. "Social Security Reform with Heterogeneous Agents," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(4), pages 757-795, October.
    27. Andreas Hornstein & Per Krusell, 2003. "Implications of the capital-embodiment revolution for directed R&D and wage inequality," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Fall, pages 25-50.
    28. Denny, Michael & Fuss, Melvyn A, 1977. "The Use of Approximation Analysis to Test for Separability and the Existence of Consistent Aggregates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 404-418, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Diego Restuccia & Guillaume Vandenbroucke, 2013. "The Evolution Of Education: A Macroeconomic Analysis," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 54, pages 915-936, August.
    2. Konstantinos, Angelopoulos & James, Malley & Apostolis, Philippopoulos, 2013. "Human capital, social mobility and the skill premium," SIRE Discussion Papers 2013-55, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    3. He, Hui, 2012. "What drives the skill premium: Technological change or demographic variation?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1546-1572.
    4. Davoine, Thomas & Mankart, Jochen, 2017. "Changes in education, wage inequality and working hours over time," Discussion Papers 38/2017, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    5. Angelopoulos, Konstantinos & Asimakopoulos, Stylianosulos & Malley, James, 2013. "The Optimal Distribution of the Tax Burden over the Business Cycle," SIRE Discussion Papers 2013-80, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    6. Roberto Samaniego & Juliana Sun, 2016. "Productivity Growth and Structural Transformation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 21, pages 266-285, July.
    7. KevinX.D. Huang & Zheng Liu & Tao Zha, 2009. "Learning, Adaptive Expectations and Technology Shocks," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(536), pages 377-405, March.
    8. Slavík, Ctirad & Yazici, Hakki, 2014. "Machines, buildings, and optimal dynamic taxes," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 47-61.
    9. Afonso, Óscar & Thompson, Maria, 2011. "Costly investment, complementarities and the skill premium," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 2254-2262, September.
    10. Stylianos Asimakopoulos & James Malley & Konstantinos Angelopoulos, 2014. "Optimal progressive taxation in a model with endogenous skill supply," Discussion Papers 2014/12, University of Nottingham, Centre for Finance, Credit and Macroeconomics (CFCM).
    11. Dan Breznitz & Amos Zehavi, 2013. "What Does Politics Have to Do with Innovation? Economic Distribution and Innovation Policy in OECD Countries," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 303, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
    12. Schäfer, Andreas, 2014. "Technological change, population dynamics, and natural resource depletion," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 122-136.
    13. John Bailey Jones & Fang Yang, 2016. "Skill-Biased Technical Change and the Cost of Higher Education," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(3), pages 621-662.
    14. Angelopoulos, Konstantinos & Jiang, Wei & Malley, James, 2015. "Fiscal multipliers in a two-sector search and matching model," SIRE Discussion Papers 2015-67, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    15. L. Ngai & Roberto Samaniego, 2009. "Mapping prices into productivity in multisector growth models," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 183-204, September.
    16. repec:eee:ecmode:v:68:y:2018:i:c:p:435-449 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Konstantinos Angelopoulos & Wei Jiang & James Malley, 2017. "Targeted fiscal policy to increase employment and wages of unskilled workers," Studies in Economics 1704, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    18. Cerqueti, Roy & Quaranta, Anna Grazia & Ventura, Marco, 2016. "Innovation, imitation and policy inaction," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 22-30.
    19. Benjamin Bridgman, 2014. "Is Labor's Loss Capital's Gain? Gross versus Net Labor Shares," BEA Working Papers 0114, Bureau of Economic Analysis.
    20. Been-Lon Chen & Shian-Yu Liao, 2015. "The Role of Agricultural Productivity on Structural Change," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(4), pages 971-987, November.
    21. Jung, Sungmoon & Lee, Jeong-Dong & Hwang, Won-Sik & Yeo, Yeongjun, 2017. "Growth versus equity: A CGE analysis for effects of factor-biased technical progress on economic growth and employment," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 424-438.
    22. Angelopoulos, Konstantinos & Jiang, Wei & Malley, James, 2015. "Fiscal multipliers in a two-sector search and matching model," 2007 Annual Meeting, July 29-August 1, 2007, Portland, Oregon TN 2015-67, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    23. Roberto Samaniego, 2013. "Stages of Diversification and Industry Productivity Differences," 2013 Meeting Papers 774, Society for Economic Dynamics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Wages;

    JEL classification:

    • E25 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution
    • 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
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedmwp:644. 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: (Jannelle Ruswick). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/frbmnus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.