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Skilled labor-augmenting technical progress in U.S. manufacturing

  • James A. Kahn
  • Jong-Soo Lim

This paper examines the role of skilled labor in the growth of total factor productivity. We use panel data from manufacturing industries to assess the extent to which productivity growth in yearly cross section is tied to industry shares of skilled labor inputs. We find robust evidence that productivity growth was increasingly concentrated in high-skill industries during a unique ten-year period beginning in the early 1970s. We do not find any positive association of productivity growth with new capital investment.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 47.

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Date of creation: 1998
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:47
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  1. Timothy Dunne & Kenneth R Troske & John Haltiwanger, 1996. "Technology and Jobs: Secular Changes and Cyclical Dynamics," Working Papers 96-7, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  2. Binswanger, Hans P, 1974. "The Measurement of Technical Change Biases with Many Factors of Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(6), pages 964-76, December.
  3. 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 342-62, June.
  4. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1998. "Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed The Labor Market?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1169-1213, November.
  5. Acemoglu, D., 1997. "Why Do New Technologies Complement Skills? Directed Technical Change and Wage Inequality," Working papers 97-14, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. Bound, John & Johnson, George, 1992. "Changes in the Structure of Wages in the 1980's: An Evaluation of Alternative Explanations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 371-92, June.
  7. Berman, Eli & Bound, John & Griliches, Zvi, 1994. "Changes in the Demand for Skilled Labor within U.S. Manufacturing: Evidence from the Annual Survey of Manufactures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(2), pages 367-97, May.
  8. Gordon, Robert J., 1990. "The Measurement of Durable Goods Prices," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226304557.
  9. Andreas Hornstein & Per Krusell, 1996. "Can Technology Improvements Cause Productivity Slowdowns?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1996, Volume 11, pages 209-276 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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