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Measuring skill: a multi-dimensional index



Traditionally, skill is measured concentrating on just one dimension of the worker's ability, usually years of schooling or the blue/white collar nature of the job. This paper proposes a measure of skill that combines, in a multiplicative way, several of the observed components of skill, as well as its unobserved dimension. The proposed index is intuitivlely appealing and it is flexible, in the sense that it can accomodate as many (or as little) dimensions of human capital as feasible and suitable for the analysis to be undertaken.

Suggested Citation

  • Miguel Portela, 2000. "Measuring skill: a multi-dimensional index," NIMA Working Papers 3, Núcleo de Investigação em Microeconomia Aplicada (NIMA), Universidade do Minho.
  • Handle: RePEc:nim:nimawp:3/2000

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Eli Bekman & John Bound & Stephen Machin, 1998. "Implications of Skill-Biased Technological Change: International Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1245-1279.
    2. Teulings, Coen N, 1995. "The Wage Distribution in a Model of the Assignment of Skills to Jobs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(2), pages 280-315, April.
    3. Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1996. "International Differences in Male Wage Inequality: Institutions versus Market Forces," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 791-836, August.
    4. Bound, John & Johnson, George, 1992. "Changes in the Structure of Wages in the 1980's: An Evaluation of Alternative Explanations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 371-392, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fernando Alexandre & Pedro Bação & João Cerejeira & Miguel Portela, 2010. "Manufacturing employment and exchange rates in the Portuguese economy: the role of openness, technology and labour market rigidity," GEMF Working Papers 2010-23, GEMF, Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra.
    2. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:10:y:2007:i:1:p:1-11 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. María Arrazola & José de Hevia, "undated". "Medición Del Capital Humano Y Análisis De Su Rendimiento," Working Papers 22-03, Instituto de Estudios Fiscales.
    4. Gu, Grace Weishi & Malik, Samreen & Pozzoli, Dario & Rocha, Vera, 2016. "Trade Induced Skill Upgrading: Lessons from the Danish and Portuguese Experiences," IZA Discussion Papers 10035, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Vera Rocha & Mirjam van Praag & Anabela Carneiro, 2015. "Deviating from the benchmarks: Human capital inputs and the survival of new startups," CEF.UP Working Papers 1502, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    6. Gautier, P.A. & Teulings, C.N., 2009. "Search and the city," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 251-265, May.
    7. José de Hevia & María Arrazola, 2007. "An Aggregated Index Of Human Capital," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 10(1), pages 1-11.
    8. Dumont, Michel, 2006. "The reliability-or lack thereof-of data on skills," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 93(3), pages 348-353, December.
    9. María Arrazola & José de Hevia, "undated". "Algunos Comentarios Sobre La Medición Del Capital Humano," Working Papers 24-03 Classification-JEL , Instituto de Estudios Fiscales.
    10. Rocha, Vera & van Praag, Mirjam C. & Folta, Timothy B. & Carneiro, Anabela, 2016. "Entrepreneurial Choices of Initial Human Capital Endowments and New Venture Success," IZA Discussion Papers 9919, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item


    composite index; skill;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

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