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Qualifications, Employment and the Value of Human Capital, 1986-2001

  • Dean Hyslop
  • Dave Mare
  • Jason Timmins

    ()

    (The Treasury)

This paper summarises the changing nature of qualifications across the working age population in New Zealand over the period from 1986 to 2001, and investigates the relationships between the changing qualification distribution and employment and income. First, the results confirm that there was a general upskilling of the population, as measured by formal educational qualifications. Second, we examine patterns of qualification change and employment growth measured in job groups, and find that the upskilling of the population occurred across a wide range of job-groups. Also, although the results show the employment growth was strongest in job-groups with high initial levels of skilled workers, employment growth is only weakly related to upskilling. Third, we decompose the change in the value of human capital into contributions due to changes in the qualification mix, changes in the (economic) returns to qualifications, and the interaction between these two factors. The value of human capital increased by 20% over the period: about 75% of this increase can be attributed to increasing incomes holding constant the mix of qualifications, 15-20% to an increasing skill mix, and the residual to interaction effects.

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File URL: http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/research-policy/wp/2003/03-35/twp03-35.pdf
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Paper provided by New Zealand Treasury in its series Treasury Working Paper Series with number 03/35.

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Length: 71
Date of creation: Dec 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nzt:nztwps:03/35
Contact details of provider: Postal: New Zealand Treasury, PO Box 3724, Wellington, New Zealand
Phone: +64-4-472 2733
Fax: +64-4-473 0982
Web page: http://www.treasury.govt.nz

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  1. Daron Acemoglu, 2001. "Human Capital Policies and the Distribution of Income: A Framework for Analysis and Literature Review," Treasury Working Paper Series 01/03, New Zealand Treasury.
  2. Paul A David (with the assistance of John Gabriel Goddard Lopez), 2000. "Knowledge, Capabilities and Human Capital Formation in Economic Growth," Treasury Working Paper Series 01/13, New Zealand Treasury, revised 10 Apr 2001.
  3. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2000. "Wage Inequality," Books, American Enterprise Institute, number 52934, 6.
  4. Trinh Le & John Gibson & Les Oxley, 2006. "A Forward-Looking Measure Of The Stock Of Human Capital In New Zealand," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 74(5), pages 593-609, 09.
  5. Katz, Lawrence F. & Autor, David H., 1999. "Changes in the wage structure and earnings inequality," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1463-1555 Elsevier.
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