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Specific Capital and Technological Variety

  • Boyan Jovanovic
  • Peter L. Rousseau

Growth of technological variety offers more scope for the division of labor. And when a division of labor requires some specific training, the technological specificity of human capital grows and, with it, probably the firm specificity of that capital. We build a simple model that captures this observation. The model implies that a rising specialization of human and physical capital raises the rents in the average match between a firm and its human and physical capital. We document that in the last 40 years the firm's share of those rents has also grown, and we use the model to explain why this shift may have taken place.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13998.

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Date of creation: May 2008
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Publication status: published as Boyan Jovanovic & Peter L. Rousseau, 2008. "Specific Capital and Technological Variety," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(2), pages 129-152.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13998
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  1. Jovanovic, B., 1993. "The Diversification of Production," Working Papers 93-11, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
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  14. Jovanovic, Boyan & Moffitt, Robert, 1990. "An Estimate of a Sectoral Model of Labor Mobility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 827-52, August.
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  19. Andrew Atkeson & Patrick J. Kehoe, 2005. "Modeling and Measuring Organization Capital," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(5), pages 1026-1053, October.
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