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Human Capital Responses to Technological Change in the Labor Market

  • Jacob Mincer
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    In a broad sense, the relation of human capital to economic growth is reciprocal. This study focuses more narrowly on labor market consequences of human capital adjustments to the pace of technological change. Using Jorgensons multifactor productivity growth indexes for industrial sectors in the 1960's and 1970's the study explores effects of differential pace of technological changes on industry demands for educated and trained workers as reflected in PSID data covering the 1968 to 1983 period. The findings show relative increases both in quantity demanded (utilization) and in price (wages) of skilled workers in the more progressive sectors. Steeper wage profiles, lesser turnover, and lesser unemployment characterize labor in sectors whose productivity grew faster in preceding years. The growth of sectoral capital intensity produces similar effects. But, as newer vintages of capital contain new technology, the skill bias of capital intensity partly reflects the skill bias of technology.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w3207.pdf
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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3207.

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    Date of creation: Dec 1989
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    Publication status: published as Studies in Human Capital, Elgar Publishers, 1993
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3207
    Note: LS
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    1. Mincer, Jacob, 1984. "Human capital and economic growth," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 195-205, June.
    2. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Interindustry Technology Flows and Productivity Growth: A Reexamination," NBER Chapters, in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 241-250 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Schultz, Theodore W, 1975. "The Value of the Ability to Deal with Disequilibria," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 827-46, September.
    4. Bartel, Ann P & Lichtenberg, Frank R, 1987. "The Comparative Advantage of Educated Workers in Implementing New Technology," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(1), pages 1-11, February.
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