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Wages, Human Capital, and the Allocation of Labor across Sectors

Author

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  • Todd Schoellman

    (Arizona State University)

  • Berthold Herrendorf

    (Arizona State University)

Abstract

We document for nine countries ranging from rich (Canada, U.S.) to poor (India, Indonesia) that average wages are higher in non–agriculture than in agriculture. We measure sectoral human capital and find that it accounts for the entire wage gap in the U.S. and most of the wage gaps elsewhere. We develop a multi–sector model that explains these finding if: (i) Mincer returns to schooling are equal in both sectors; (ii) more able workers sort into non–agriculture; (iii) distortions to the allocation of labor between sectors are negligible in the U.S. and small elsewhere.

Suggested Citation

  • Todd Schoellman & Berthold Herrendorf, 2014. "Wages, Human Capital, and the Allocation of Labor across Sectors," 2014 Meeting Papers 364, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed014:364
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116.
    2. Restuccia, Diego & Yang, Dennis Tao & Zhu, Xiaodong, 2008. "Agriculture and aggregate productivity: A quantitative cross-country analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 234-250, March.
    3. Berthold Herrendorf & Todd Schoellman, 2015. "Why is Measured Productivity so Low in Agriculture?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(4), pages 1003-1022, October.
    4. Mike Waugh & David Lagakos & Doug Gollin, 2011. "The Agricultural Productivity Gap in Developing Countries," 2011 Meeting Papers 1397, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Psacharopoulos, George, 1994. "Returns to investment in education: A global update," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(9), pages 1325-1343, September.
    6. Kuznets, Simon, 1973. "Modern Economic Growth: Findings and Reflections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 247-258.
    7. Binelli Chiara, 2015. "How the wage-education profile got more convex: evidence from Mexico," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 15(2), pages 509-560, July.
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