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Experience vs. Obsolescence: A Vintage-Human-Capital Model

  • Kredler, Matthias

I combine an infinite-horizon version of Ben-Porath’s (1967) model of human-capital accumulation with a vintage structure as in Chari & Hopenhayn (1991). Different skill levelsinside a vintage are complementary in production. Vintage-specific human capital is accumulated based on workers’ optimal strategies and is lost when the technology is phased out by an endogenous firm decision. I establish equivalence between competitive equilibrium and a planner’s problem. It is shown that returns to skill are highest in young vintages. Accelerated technological change shortens the life cycle of a technology and speeds up obsolescence; the premium on tenure rises because more workers are concentrated in young technologies with high skill premia. A calibration exercise comparing two steady states shows that the model quantitatively accounts for the changes in the experience premium, earnings dispersion and earnings turbulence in German data.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 10200.

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Date of creation: 28 Jul 2008
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:10200
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  1. Cummins, Jason G & Violante, Giovanni L, 2002. "Investment-Specific Technical Change in the US (1947-2000): Measurement and Macroeconomic Consequences," CEPR Discussion Papers 3584, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1991. "Quality Ladders in the Theory of Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(1), pages 43-61, January.
  3. Klette, Tor Jakob & Kortum, Samuel, 2002. "Innovating Firms and Aggregate Innovation," Memorandum 02/2002, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  4. Claudio Michelacci & Vincenzo Quadrini, 2009. "Financial Markets and Wages," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(2), pages 795-827.
  5. Andrew Atkeson & Patrick J. Kehoe, 2005. "Modeling and measuring organization capital," Staff Report 291, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  6. Gordon, Robert J., 1990. "The Measurement of Durable Goods Prices," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226304557.
  7. Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance John & Todd, Petra E., 2003. "Fifty Years of Mincer Earnings Regressions," IZA Discussion Papers 775, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Yoram Ben-Porath, 1967. "The Production of Human Capital and the Life Cycle of Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 352.
  9. Huggett, Mark & Ventura, Gustavo & Yaron, Amir, 2006. "Human capital and earnings distribution dynamics," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 265-290, March.
  10. Peter Gottschalk & Mary Joyce, 1997. "Cross-National Differences in the Rise in Earnings Inequality: Market and Institutional Factors," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 366, Boston College Department of Economics.
  11. Fatih Guvenen & Burhanettin Kuruscu, 2009. "A quantitative analysis of the evolution of the U.S. wage distribution, 1970-2000," Staff Report 427, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  12. Ken Burdett & Melvyn Coles, 2003. "Equilibrium Wage-Tenure Contracts," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(5), pages 1377-1404, 09.
  13. Peter Gottschalk & Timothy M. Smeeding, 1997. "Cross-National Comparisons of Earnings and Income Inequality," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(2), pages 633-687, June.
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