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Comparative Advantage, Learning, and Sectoral Wage Determination

  • Katz, Lawrence
  • Gibbons, Robert
  • Lemieux, Thomas
  • Parent, Daniel

We develop a model in which a worker’s skills determine the worker’s current wage and sector. The market and the worker are initially uncertain about some of the worker’s skills. Endogenous wage changes and sector mobility occur as labor market participants learn about these unobserved skills. We show how the model can be estimated using nonlinear instrumental variables techniques. We apply our methodology to study wages and allocation of workers across occupations and industries using individualâ€level panel data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. We find that highâ€wage sectors employ highâ€skill workers and offer high returns to workers’ skills.

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Paper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 2766651.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Publication status: Published in Journal of Labor Economics
Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:2766651
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Web page: http://www.economics.harvard.edu/

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