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

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Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Dean Hyslop & Dave Mare & Jason Timmins, 2003. "Qualifications, Employment and the Value of Human Capital, 1986-2001," Treasury Working Paper Series 03/35, New Zealand Treasury.
  • Handle: RePEc:nzt:nztwps:03/35
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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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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2000. "Wage Inequality," Books, American Enterprise Institute, number 52934, September.
    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. 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.
    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, September.
    5. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Geoff Mason & Matthew Osborne, 2007. "Productivity, Capital-Intensity and Labour Quality at Sector Level in New Zealand and the UK," Treasury Working Paper Series 07/01, New Zealand Treasury.
    2. Niven Winchester, 2006. "Searching for the Smoking Gun: Did Trade Hurt Unskilled Workers?," Working Papers 0605, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Sep 2006.
    3. Sid Durbin, 2004. "Review of Workplace Skills, Technology Adoption and Firm Productivity: A Review," Treasury Working Paper Series 04/16, New Zealand Treasury.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Qualifications; Upskilling; Human Capital; Employment Growth; Incomes; New Zealand;

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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