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Cyclical Skill-Biased Technological Change

Author

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  • Balleer, Almut

    (RWTH Aachen University)

  • van Rens, Thijs

    (University of Warwick)

Abstract

Over the past two decades, technological progress has been biased towards making skilled labor more productive. What does skill-biased technological change imply for business cycles? To answer this question, we construct a quarterly series for the skill premium from the CPS and use it to identify skill-biased technology shocks in a VAR with long run restrictions. We find that hours worked fall in response to skill-biased, but not in response to skill-neutral improvements in technology. Skill-biased technology shocks are associated with increases in the relative price of investment, indicating that capital and skill are substitutes in aggregate production.

Suggested Citation

  • Balleer, Almut & van Rens, Thijs, 2009. "Cyclical Skill-Biased Technological Change," IZA Discussion Papers 4258, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4258
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    Cited by:

    1. Cantore, C. & Ferroni, F. & León-Ledesma, M A., 2011. "Interpreting the Hours-Technology time-varying relationship," Working papers 351, Banque de France.
    2. Cantore, Cristiano & Ferroni, Filippo & León-Ledesma, Miguel A., 2017. "The dynamics of hours worked and technology," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 67-82.
    3. Balleer, Almut & Enders, Zeno, 2013. "Expansionary and Contractionary Technology Improvements," VfS Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 80046, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    4. Sparber, Chad & Fan, Jasmine Sijie, 2011. "Unemployment, Skills, and the Business Cycle Since 2000," Working Papers 2011-04, Department of Economics, Colgate University, revised 12 Sep 2012.
    5. Almut Balleer, 2012. "New evidence, old puzzles: Technology shocks and labor market dynamics," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 3(3), pages 363-392, November.
    6. Zeno Enders & Almut Balleer, 2012. "Expansionary and Contractionary Technology Shocks," 2012 Meeting Papers 812, Society for Economic Dynamics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    long-run restrictions; skill premium; VAR; skill-biased technology; capital-skill complementarity; business cycle;
    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
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • 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

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