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Career Progression and Comparative Advantage

  • Shintaro Yamaguchi

This paper constructs and structurally estimates a dynamic occupational choice model that has two distinct features. First, an occupation is vertically and horizontally differentiated by a multidimensional task complexity measure. This allows a simultaneous analysis of career progression and comparative advantage. Second, the model includes hundreds of occupations by characterizing all jobs by a multidimensional task complexity vector, thereby avoiding the curse of dimensionality. Estimation results from the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) and the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY) indicate that wages increase according to task complexity and that individuals climb up the career ladder along the dimension of tasks in which they have a comparative advantage.

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File URL: http://socserv.mcmaster.ca/econ/rsrch/papers/archive/2008-03.pdf
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Paper provided by McMaster University in its series Department of Economics Working Papers with number 2008-03.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mcm:deptwp:2008-03
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  1. Miller, Robert A, 1984. "Job Matching and Occupational Choice," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(6), pages 1086-120, December.
  2. Oded Galor & Nachum Sicherman, 1988. "A Theory of Career Mobility," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 51, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  3. Donghoon Lee & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2004. "Intersectoral Labor Mobility and the Growth of the Service Sector," PIER Working Paper Archive 04-036, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  4. Kathryn L. Shaw, 1984. "A Formulation of the Earnings Function Using the Concept of Occupational Investment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 19(3), pages 319-340.
  5. Rust, John, 1987. "Optimal Replacement of GMC Bus Engines: An Empirical Model of Harold Zurcher," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(5), pages 999-1033, September.
  6. Jovanovic, B. & Nyarko, Y., 1996. "Stepping Stone Mobility," Working Papers 96-26, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  7. Michael P. Keane & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1995. "The career decisions of young men," Working Papers 559, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  8. Derek Neal, 1998. "The Complexity of Job Mobility Among Young Men," NBER Working Papers 6662, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Ingram, Beth F. & Neumann, George R., 2006. "The returns to skill," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 35-59, February.
  10. Shintaro Yamaguchi, 2007. "The Effect of Match Quality and Specific Experience on Career Decisions and Wage Growth," Department of Economics Working Papers 2007-01, McMaster University.
  11. Moscarini, Giuseppe & Thomsson, Kaj, 2006. "Occupational and Job Mobility in the US," Working Papers 19, Yale University, Department of Economics.
  12. Gueorgui Kambourov & Iourii Manovskii, 2009. "Occupational Specificity Of Human Capital," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(1), pages 63-115, 02.
  13. Ronni Pavan, 2011. "Career Choice and Wage Growth," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(3), pages 549 - 587.
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