IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/8464.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Economics of Has-Beens

Author

Listed:
  • Glenn MacDonald
  • Michael Weisbach

Abstract

Evolution of technology causes human capital to become obsolete. We study this phenomenon in an overlapping generations setting, assuming it is hard to predict how technology will evolve, and that older workers find updating uneconomic. Among our results is the proposition that (under certain conditions) a more rapid pace of technological advance is especially unfavorable to the old in the sense that the implied within-industry division of output or income between young and old becomes much more skewed, i.e., a smaller number of young earn comparatively more. We apply our results to architecture, an occupation in which the has-beens phenomenon has had a particularly acute impact.

Suggested Citation

  • Glenn MacDonald & Michael Weisbach, 2001. "The Economics of Has-Beens," NBER Working Papers 8464, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8464
    Note: CF LS
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w8464.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Parente Stephen L., 1994. "Technology Adoption, Learning-by-Doing, and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 346-369, August.
    2. Edward P. Lazear & Paul Oyer, 2012. "Personnel Economics," Introductory Chapters,in: Robert Gibbons & John Roberts (ed.), The Handbook of Organizational Economics Princeton University Press.
    3. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Michael M. Knetter, 1997. "Goods Prices and Exchange Rates: What Have We Learned?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1243-1272, September.
    4. Jovanovic, Boyan & MacDonald, Glenn M, 1994. "Competitive Diffusion," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(1), pages 24-52, February.
    5. Rosenberg, Nathan, 1976. "On Technological Expectations," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 86(343), pages 523-535, September.
    6. Edward P. Lazear, 1995. "Personnel Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121883, January.
    7. Jeffrey Campbell, 1998. "Entry, Exit, Embodied Technology, and Business Cycles," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(2), pages 371-408, April.
    8. Cooley, Thomas F. & Greenwood, Jeremy & Yorukoglu, Mehmet, 1997. "The replacement problem," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 457-499, December.
    9. Boyan Jovanovic, 1998. "Vintage Capital and Inequality," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(2), pages 497-530, April.
    10. Weinberg, Bruce A, 2001. "Long-Term Wage Fluctuations with Industry-Specific Human Capital," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 231-264, January.
    11. Lazear, Edward P, 1979. "Why Is There Mandatory Retirement?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1261-1284, December.
    12. Chari, V V & Hopenhayn, Hugo, 1991. "Vintage Human Capital, Growth, and the Diffusion of New Technology," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(6), pages 1142-1165, December.
    13. Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "The Economics of Superstars," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 845-858, December.
    14. Gort, Michael & Klepper, Steven, 1982. "Time Paths in the Diffusion of Product Innovations," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(367), pages 630-653, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Kristiina Huttunen, 2005. "R&D Activity, Exports, and Changes in Skill Demand in Finland," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 18(2), pages 72-85, Autumn.
    2. Brox, James A. & Carvalho, Emanuel, 2008. "A Demographically Augmented Shift-Share Employment Analysis: An Application to Canadian Employment Patterns," Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, Mid-Continent Regional Science Association, vol. 38(1).
    3. Inés P. Murillo, 2011. "Human capital obsolescence: some evidence for Spain," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 32(4), pages 426-445, July.
    4. Centeno, Mário & Corrêa, Márcio, 2010. "Job matching, technological progress, and worker-provided on-the-job training," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 109(3), pages 190-192, December.
    5. Luc Behaghel, 2006. "Changement technologique et formation tout au long de la vie," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 57(6), pages 1351-1382.
    6. Madiès, Thierry & Villeval, Marie Claire & Wasmer, Malgorzata, 2013. "Intergenerational attitudes towards strategic uncertainty and competition: A field experiment in a Swiss bank," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 153-168.
    7. Tervio, Marko, 2003. "Mediocrity in Talent Markets," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt7411j2vx, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
    8. Perri, T. J., 2003. "The cost of specialized human capital," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 433-438, August.
    9. Schneider, Lutz, 2007. "Alterung und technologisches Innovationspotential : Eine Linked-Employer-Employee-Analyse," IWH Discussion Papers 2/2007, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    10. Jun Han & Wing Suen, 2011. "Age structure of the workforce in growing and declining industries: evidence from Hong Kong," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(1), pages 167-189, January.
    11. Alders, Peter, 2005. "Human capital growth and destruction: the effect of fertility on skill obsolescence," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 503-520, May.
    12. Grip Andries de, 2006. "Evaluating Human Capital Obsolescence," ROA Working Paper 001, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
    13. Vikas Mehrotra & Randall Morck, 2017. "Governance and Stakeholders," NBER Working Papers 23460, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Meyer, Jenny, 2008. "The Adoption of New Technologies and the Age Structure of the Workforce," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-045, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    15. Weinberg, Bruce A., 2004. "Experience and Technology Adoption," IZA Discussion Papers 1051, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D2 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations
    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8464. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: () or (Joanne Lustig). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.