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The Acquisition of Skills over the Life-Cycle

  • Stuart J. Fowler
  • Eric R. Young

The cyclical behavior of the acquisition of skills over the life-cycle is investigated. The OLG model employed includes the human capital production sector of Heckman (1976) that has two possible responses in skill acquisition to a productivity shock; a substitution and an income effect. The calibrated model predicts, for all age groups, that the substitution effect dominates the income effect implying opportunity-cost considerations tend to make schooling countercyclical. However, the data on college enrollments suggests that the ability-to-pay consideration, or the income effect, is more important for the very young since enrollments for the recently graduated from high-school are procyclical. By making human capital acquisition shocks positively correlated with the TFP shock, the income effect of the young is increased thereby replicating the observed data.

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Paper provided by Middle Tennessee State University, Department of Economics and Finance in its series Working Papers with number 200402.

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Date of creation: Apr 2004
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Handle: RePEc:mts:wpaper:200402
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  12. Matthew J. Lindquist, 2004. "Capital-Skill Complementarity and Inequality Over the Business Cycle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 7(3), pages 519-540, July.
  13. David N. DeJong & Beth F. Ingram, 2001. "The Cyclical Behavior of Skill Acquisition," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 4(3), pages 536-561, July.
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