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Human Capital Specificity: Evidence from the Dictionary of Occupational Titles and Displaced Worker Surveys 1984-2000

This paper uses information from the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) and Displaced Worker Surveys (DWS) to provide evidence on the source of human capital specificity. Measures of four basic skills are constructed from the detailed DOT information. These measures are used to characterize the skill portfolio of each job and to construct distance measures between jobs. The pattern of wage losses from the DWS shows that large losses are more closely associated with switching skill portfolios than switching industry or occupation code per se and that these switches represent large decreases in the underlying skill portfolio in the post-displacement job. The recent evidence for industry specific capital is re-examined. An analysis using the same methods as Neal (1995) that incorporates the skill portfolio measures provides further evidence in favor of broad skill based specificity.

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File URL: http://economics.uwo.ca/cibc/workingpapers_docs/wp2008/Poletaev_Robinson03.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity in its series University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers with number 20083.

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Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uwo:hcuwoc:20083
Contact details of provider: Postal: CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity, Social Science Centre, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada N6A 5C2
Phone: 519-661-2111 Ext.85244
Web page: http://economics.uwo.ca/research/research_papers/cibc_workingpapers.html

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  1. Iourii Manovskii & Gueorgui Kambourov, 2004. "Occupational Specificity of Human Capital," 2004 Meeting Papers 197, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Ingram, Beth F. & Neumann, George R., 2006. "The returns to skill," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 35-59, February.
  3. Ronni Pavan, 2006. "Career Choice and Wage Growth," 2006 Meeting Papers 504, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Abowd, J.M. & Kramarz, F. & Margolis, D.N., 1995. "High-Wage Workers and High-Wage Firms," Cahiers de recherche 9503, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en ├ęconomie quantitative, CIREQ.
  5. Parent, Daniel, 2000. "Industry-Specific Capital and the Wage Profile: Evidence from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(2), pages 306-23, April.
  6. Katharine G. Abraham & Henry S. Farber, 1986. "Job Duration, Seniority and Earnings," Working papers 407, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  7. Kambourov, Gueorgui & Manovskii, Iourii, 2004. "Rising Occupational and Industry Mobility in the United States: 1968-1993," IZA Discussion Papers 1110, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Maxim Poletaev & Chris Robinson, 2004. "Human Capital Specificity: Direct and Indirect Evidence from Canadian and US Panels and Displaced Worker Surveys," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20042, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
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