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Costly Investment, Complementarities and the Skill Premium

  • Óscar Afonso

    ()

    (CEFUP, OBEGEF, Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto)

  • Maria Thompson

    ()

    (NIPE, Escola de Economia e Gestão, Universidade do Minho)

We propose a new framework to analyse the wage premium behaviour. Building on Acemoglu and Zilibotti (2001), we introduce physical capital and two assumptions: (i) internal costly investment in both capital and R&D; (ii) complementarities between capital goods in production. We find that, for economies relatively abundant in high-skilled labour, a rise in the relative endowment of high-skilled labour is accompanied by a rise in the skill premium. We further find that a rise (i) in investment costs or (ii) in the complementarities degree, requires an increase in the relative endowment of high-skilled labour, for the economy to remain in the same growth equilibrium. For economies relatively abundant in high-skilled labour, such rises are also accompanied by an increase in the skill premium.

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File URL: http://www.fep.up.pt/investigacao/workingpapers/09.04.28_wp323.pdf
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Paper provided by Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto in its series FEP Working Papers with number 323.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:por:fepwps:323
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  1. Daron Acemoglu & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2001. "Productivity Differences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 563-606.
  2. Daron Acemoglu, 2002. "Directed Technical Change," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 781-809.
  3. Aghion, Philippe, 2002. "Schumpeterian Growth Theory and the Dynamics of Income Inequality," Scholarly Articles 3350067, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Stephen Machin & John Van Reenen, 1998. "Technology and Changes in Skill Structure: Evidence from Seven OECD Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1215-1244.
  5. Hui He & Zheng Liu, 2008. "Investment-Specific Technological Change, Skill Accumulation, and Wage Inequality," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(2), pages 314-334, April.
  6. Kiminori Matsuyama, 1995. "Complementarities and Cumulative Processes in Models of Monopolistic Competition," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(2), pages 701-729, June.
  7. Lawrence F. Katz & Kevin M. Murphy, 1992. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963–1987: Supply and Demand Factors," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 35-78.
  8. Daniel Fernandez Kranz, 2006. "Why has wage inequality increased more in the USA than in Europe? An empirical investigation of the demand and supply of skill," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(7), pages 771-788.
  9. Zhu, Susan Chun & Trefler, Daniel, 2005. "Trade and inequality in developing countries: a general equilibrium analysis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 21-48, January.
  10. 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 371-92, June.
  11. Daron Acemoglu, 1998. "Why Do New Technologies Complement Skills? Directed Technical Change and Wage Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1055-1089.
  12. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-42, June.
  13. Paul Romer & George Evans & Seppo Hokapohja, . "Growth Cycles," Home Pages _001, Stanford University.
  14. Robertson, Raymond, 2004. "Relative prices and wage inequality: evidence from Mexico," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 387-409, December.
  15. Afonso, Oscar, 2008. "The impact of government intervention on wage inequality without scale effects," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 351-362, March.
  16. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1998. "Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed the Labor Market?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1169-1213.
  17. Rosario Crinò, 2005. "Wages, Skills, and Integration in Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic: an Industry-level Analysis," Transition Studies Review, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 432-459, December.
  18. J. David Richardson, 1995. "Income Inequality and Trade: How to Think, What to Conclude," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 33-55, Summer.
  19. Fumio Hayashi, 1981. "Tobin's Marginal q and Average a : A Neoclassical Interpretation," Discussion Papers 457, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
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  21. Maoz, Yishay D. & Moav, Omer, 2004. "Social Stratification, Capital Skill Complementarity, And The Nonmonotonic Evolution Of The Education Premium," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(03), pages 295-309, June.
  22. Benavie, Arthur & Grinols, Earl & Turnovsky, Stephen J., 1996. "Adjustment costs and investment in a stochastic endogenous growth model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 77-100, August.
  23. Oscar Afonso, 2006. "Skill-biased technological knowledge without scale effects," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(1), pages 13-21.
  24. Seraina C. Anagnostopoulou, 2008. "R&D expenses and firm valuation: a literature review," International Journal of Accounting and Information Management, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 16(1), pages 5-24, July.
  25. Luis A. Rivera-Batiz & Paul M. Romer, 1991. "Economic Integration and Endogenous Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 531-555.
  26. Maria Thompson, 2008. "Complementarities and costly investment in a growth model," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 94(3), pages 231-240, September.
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