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On the Evolution of Wage Inequality in Acemoglu’s Model of Directed Technical Change

Listed author(s):
  • Matthias Weiss

    ()

    (Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA))

In Acemoglu's model of directed technical change (1998 in this Journal), the skill-premium increases in consequence of an increase in the relative supply of skilled labor. In this paper, I argue that other measures of wage inequality such as the Gini-coefficient do not necessarily rise as well. The Gini-coefficient depends positively on the skill-premium but the effect of an increase in the relative supply of skilled labor is ambiguous. A simulation of Acemoglu's model shows that the growth in the relative supply of skilled labor has led to increased wage inequality in the past but will lead to decreasing wage inequality in the future.

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Paper provided by Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy in its series MEA discussion paper series with number 05099.

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Date of creation: 14 Sep 2005
Handle: RePEc:mea:meawpa:05099
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  1. Eli Bekman & John Bound & Stephen Machin, 1998. "Implications of Skill-Biased Technological Change: International Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1245-1279.
  2. Kiley, Michael T, 1999. "The Supply of Skilled Labour and Skill-Biased Technological Progress," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(458), pages 708-724, October.
  3. 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.
  4. Peter Gottschalk & Timothy M. Smeeding, 1997. "Cross-National Comparisons of Earnings and Income Inequality," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(2), pages 633-687, June.
  5. 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.
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