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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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File URL: http://capone.mtsu.edu/berc/working/jdub1.pdf
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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
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.mtsu.edu/~berc/working/Economics_Working_Papers.html
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  1. Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2001. "Solving Dynamic General Equilibrium Models Using a Second-Order Approximation to the Policy Function," CEPR Discussion Papers 2963, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Dellas, Harris & Sakellaris, Plutarchos, 1996. "On the cyclicality of schooling: Theory and evidence," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 1997002, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  3. James Heckman & Lance Lochner & Christopher Taber, 1998. "Explaining Rising Wage Inequality: Explanations With A Dynamic General Equilibrium Model of Labor Earnings With Heterogeneous Agents," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(1), pages 1-58, January.
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  5. Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., . "Income and Wealth Heterogeneity in the Macroeconomy," GSIA Working Papers 1997-37, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  6. 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.
  7. Carneiro, Pedro & Heckman, James J., 2003. "Human Capital Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 821, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Jess Gaspar & Kenneth L. Judd, 1997. "Solving Large Scale Rational Expectations Models," NBER Technical Working Papers 0207, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Jonathan A. Parker, 2002. "Consumption Over the Life Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(1), pages 47-89, January.
  11. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  12. Paul Gomme & Richard Rogerson & Peter Rupert & Randall Wright, 2005. "The Business Cycle and the Life Cycle," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2004, Volume 19, pages 415-592 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Blundell, Richard & Griffith, Rachel & Windmeijer, Frank, 2002. "Individual effects and dynamics in count data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 113-131, May.
  14. Heathcote, Jonathan & Storesletten, Kjetil & Violante, Giovanni L, 2004. "The Cross-Sectional Implications of Rising Wage Inequality in the United States," CEPR Discussion Papers 4296, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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