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NBER Working Paper Series

Опубликовано на портале: 05-02-2007
John H. Cochrane, Christopher R. Taber, Lance Lochner NBER Working Paper Series. 1998.  No. 6384.
This paper develops and estimates an overlapping generations general equilibrium model of labor earnings, skill formation and physical capital accumulation with heterogeneous human capital. The model analyzes both schooling choices and post-school on-the-job investment in skills in a framework in which different schooling levels index different skills. A key insight in the model is that accounting for the distinction between skill prices and measured wages is important for analyzing the changing wage structure, as they often move in different directions. New methods are developed and applied to estimate the demand for unobserved human capital and to determine the substitution relationships in aggregate technology among skills and capital. We estimate skill-specific human capital accumulation equations that are consistent with the general equilibrium predictions of the model. Using our estimates, we find that a model of skill-biased technical change with a trend estimated from our aggregate technology is consistent with the central feature of rising wage equality measured by the college-high school wage differential and by the standard deviation of log earnings over the past 15 years. Immigration of low skill workers contributes little to rising wage inequality. When the model is extended to account for the enlarged cohorts of the Baby Boom, we find that the same parameter estimates of the supply functions for human capital that are used the explain the wage history of the last 15 years also explain the last 35 years of wage inequality as documented by Katz and Murphy (1992).
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Опубликовано на портале: 16-11-2004
Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo NBER Working Paper Series. 2000.  w7793.
This paper describes the correlations between inequality and the growth rates in cross-country data. Using non-parametric methods, we show that the growth rate is an inverted U-shaped function of net changes in inequality: Changes in inequality (in any direction) are associated with reduced growth in the next period. The estimated relationship is robust to variations in control variables and estimation methods. This inverted U-curve is consistent with a simple political economy model, although, as we point out, efforts to interpret this model causally run into difficult identification problems. We show that this non-linearity is sufficient to explain why previous estimates of the relationship between the level of inequality and growth are so different from one another.
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Опубликовано на портале: 16-11-2004
Robert J. Gordon NBER Working Paper Series. 2000.  w7752.
This paper assesses the standard data on output, labor input, and capital input, which imply one big wave' in multi-factor productivity (MFP) growth for the United States since 1870. The wave-like pattern starts with slow MFP growth in the late 19th century, then an acceleration peaking in 1928-50, and then a deceleration to a slow rate after 1972 that returns to the poor performance of 1870-1891. A counterpart of the standard data is a mysterious doubling in the ratio of output to capital input when the postwar era is compared with 1870-1929. Three types of measurement adjustments are applied to the standard input data. Following the lead of Denison and Jorgenson-Griliches, adjustments for the changing composition (or quality') of labor and capital, currently published by the BLS back to 1948, are estimated for 1870-1948. These composition adjustments take into account the shifting mix of the labor force along the dimensions of education and age-sex composition, and of the capital stock between equipment and structures. Further adjustments are made to capital input data to allow retirement to vary with gross investment rather than to follow a fixed pattern depending only on age, and to add types of capital owned by the government that are particularly productive in the private sector. A new MFP series taking account of all these adjustments grows more slowly throughout, and the big wave' phenomenon is both flatter and extends back further in time to 1891. However, there is no solution to the post-1972 productivity slowdown, and in the new data MFP growth during 1972-96 proceeds at a pathetic 0.1 percent per year. A byproduct of the measurement adjustments is to solve completely the previous puzzle of the jump in the output-capital ratio; in the new data this ratio is actually lower in 1996 than in 1870. The primary substantive explanation for the big wave lies in the timing of inventions. MFP growth during the big wave' period benefited from the diffusion of four great clusters of inventions that dwarf today's information technology revolution in their combined importance. A complementary hypothesis is that the partial closing of American labor markets to immigration and of American goods markets to imports during the big wave period gave an artificial and temporary boost to real wages which fed back into boosting productivity growth, followed by a reopening that contributed to the post-1972 productivity slowdown.
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Опубликовано на портале: 19-10-2004
George J. Borjas, Valerie A. Ramey NBER Working Paper Series. 2000.  No. 7799.
This paper examines the link between interindustry wage differentials and subsequent growth of industry variables such as employment, GDP and labor productivity. We find that industries that paid higher than average wages in 1959 experienced significantly lower employment growth and GDP growth in the subsequent 30 to 40 years, while at the same time experiencing higher-than-average growth in the capital-labor ratio and in labor productivity. We argue that the evidence is best explained by a non-competitive model of the interindustry wage structure, as both firms and the market respond to the wage rigidity implied by the long-run persistence of the interindustry wage structure.
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Опубликовано на портале: 16-11-2004
Laurence M. Ball, Robert A. Moffitt NBER Working Paper Series. 2001.  w8421.
We present a model in which workers' aspirations for wage increases adjust slowly to shifts in productivity growth. The model yields a Phillips curve with a new variable: the gap between productivity growth and an average of past wage growth. Empirically, this variable shows up strongly in the U.S. Phillips curve. Including it explains the otherwise puzzling shift in the unemployment- inflation tradeoff since 1995.
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