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

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  • Matthias Weiss

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

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthias Weiss, 2005. "On the Evolution of Wage Inequality in Acemoglu’s Model of Directed Technical Change," MEA discussion paper series 05099, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  • Handle: RePEc:mea:meawpa:05099
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    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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    Cited by:

    1. Orachos Napasintuwong Artachinda, 2011. "Modeling Directions of Technical Change in Agricultural Sector," Working Papers 201101, Kasetsart University, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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