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The Rise of the Service Economy

  • Francisco J. Buera
  • Joseph P. Kaboski

This paper models the relationship between product cycles, specialized capital, specialized skill, and non-homothetic preferences in the shift in production toward services over time. We explicitly model the decision of whether to produce services at home (using manufacturing goods as inputs) or in the market. Market production benefits from increasing returns in the use of specialized capital and skilled labor, but involves a utility cost due to join joint consumption. As the productivity grows, individual services follow a product cycle of moving from market services to home production as the costs of capital fall relative to the utility cost of joint consumption. Skill-intensive services follow this cycle more slowly and non-homothetic preferences increase demand for skill-intensive services over time, which drives a shift toward market services. The model predicts an increase in the share of services, the share of services produced by skilled labor, the level of skill, the return to skill, and the fraction of market services consumed by high income workers

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2006 Meeting Papers with number 496.

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Date of creation: 03 Dec 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:red:sed006:496
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Society for Economic Dynamics Marina Azzimonti Department of Economics Stonybrook University 10 Nicolls Road Stonybrook NY 11790 USA

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  1. Maddison, Angus, 1987. "Growth and Slowdown in Advanced Capitalist Economies: Techniques of Quantitative Assessment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 649-98, June.
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