Creator: Caselli, Francesco, 1966- and Coleman, Wilbur John Series: Productivity and the industrial revolution Abstract:
The process by which per capita income in the South converged to northern levels is intimately related to the structural transformation of the U.S. economy. We find that empirically most of the southern gains are attributable to the nation-wide convergence of agricultural wages to non-agricultural wages, and the faster rate of transition of the Southern labor force from agricultural to non-agricultural jobs. Similar results describe the Mid-West's catch up to the North-East (but not the relative experience of the West). To explain these observations, we construct a model in which the South (Mid-West) has a comparative advantage in producing unskilled-labor intensive agricultural goods. Thus, it starts with a disproportionate share of the unskilled labor force and lower per capita incomes. Over time, declining education/training costs induce an increasing proportion of the labor force to move out of the (unskilled) agricultural sector and into the (skilled) non-agricultural sector. The decline in the agricultural labor force leads to an increase in relative agricultural wages. Both effects benefit the South (Mid-West) disproportionately since it has more agricultural workers. The model successfully matches the quantitative features of the U.S. structural transformation and regional convergence, as well as several other stylized facts on U.S. economic growth in the last century. The model does not rely on frictions on factor mobility, since in our empirical work we find this channel to be less important than the compositional effects the model emphasizes.
Stichwort: Regional economies, Agricultural and non-agricultural workers, Skill acquisition, Regional convergence, and Structural transformation Fach: O41 - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models, O18 - Economic development - Regional, urban, and rural analyses, and O14 - Economic development - Industrialization ; Manufacturing and service industries ; Choice of technology
Creator: Pastorino, Elena Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 469 Abstract:
This paper develops and structurally estimates a labor market model that integrates job assignment, learning, and human capital acquisition to account for the main patterns of careers in firms. A key innovation is that the model incorporates workers’ job mobility within and between firms, and the possibility that, through job assignment, firms affect the rate at which they acquire information about workers. The model is estimated using longitudinal administrative data on managers from one U.S. firm in a service industry (the data of Baker, Gibbs, and Holmström (1994a,b)) and fits the data remarkably well. The estimated model is used to assess both the direct effect of learning on wages and its indirect effect through its impact on the dynamics of job assignment. Consistent with the evidence in the literature on comparative advantage and learning, the estimated direct effect of learning on wages is found to be small. Unlike in previous work, by jointly estimating the dynamics of beliefs, jobs, and wages imposing all of the model restrictions, the impact of learning on job assignment can be uncovered and the indirect effect of learning on wages explicitly assessed. The key finding of the paper is that the indirect effect of learning on wages is substantial: overall learning accounts for one quarter of the cumulative wage growth on the job during the first seven years of tenure. Nearly all of the remaining growth is from human capital acquisition. A related novel finding is that the experimentation component of learning is a primary determinant of the timing of promotions and wage increases. Along with persistent uncertainty about ability, experimentation is responsible for substantially compressing wage growth at low tenures.
Stichwort: Experimentation, Human Capital, Wage Growth, Careers, Job Mobility, and Bandit Fach: J31 - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials, J44 - Professional Labor Markets; Occupational Licensing, J24 - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity, D83 - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness, D22 - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis, and J62 - Job, Occupational, and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
Creator: Pastorino, Elena Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 470 Abstract:
In this appendix I present details of the model and the empirical analysis, and results of counterfactual experiments omitted from the paper. In Section 1 I describe a simple example that illustrates how, even in the absence of human capital acquisition, productivity shocks, or separation shocks, the learning component of the model can naturally generate mobility between jobs within a firm and turnover between firms. I also include the proofs of Propositions 1 and 2 in the paper. In Section 2 I discuss model identification in detail, where, in particular, I prove that information in my data on the performance ratings of managers allows me to identify the learning process separately from the human capital process. In Section 3 I describe the original U.S. firm dataset of Baker, Gibbs, and Holmström (1994a,b), on which my work is based. In Section 4 I provide details about the estimation of the model, including the derivation of the likelihood function, a description of the numerical solution of the model, and a discussion of the results from a Monte Carlo exercise showing the identifiability of the model’s parameters in practice. There I also derive bounds on the informativeness of the jobs of the competitors of the firm in my data, based on the estimates of the parameters reported in the paper. Finally, in Section 5 I present estimation results based on a larger sample that includes entrants into the firm at levels higher than Level 1. Results of counterfactual experiments omitted from the paper are contained in Tables A.12–A.14.
Stichwort: Experimentation, Human Capital, Wage Growth, Job Mobility, Bandit, and Careers Fach: J31 - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials, J44 - Professional Labor Markets; Occupational Licensing, J24 - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity, D83 - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness, D22 - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis, and J62 - Job, Occupational, and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
Creator: Heathcote, Jonathan, Storesletten, Kjetil, and Violante, Giovanni L. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 551 Abstract:
This paper studies optimal taxation of earnings when the degree of tax progressivity is allowed to vary with age. The setting is an overlapping-generations model that incorporates irreversible skill investment, flexible labor supply, ex-ante heterogeneity in the disutility of work and the cost of skill acquisition, partially insurable wage risk, and a life cycle productivity profile. An analytically tractable version of the model without intertemporal trade is used to characterize and quantify the salient trade-offs in tax design. The key results are that progressivity should be U-shaped in age and that the average marginal tax rate should be increasing and concave in age. These findings are confirmed in a version of the model with borrowing and saving that we solve numerically.
Stichwort: Incomplete markets, Life cycle, Income distribution, Tax progressivity, Labor supply, and Skill investment Fach: E20 - Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy: General (includes Measurement and Data), J22 - Time Allocation and Labor Supply, H40 - Publicly Provided Goods: General, J24 - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity, H20 - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue: General, and D30 - Distribution: General
Creator: Platt, Glenn J. Series: Law and economics of federalism Abstract:
This paper develops a model of firm location where communities differ by exogenous endowments of a factor of production. Firms choose to locate based on local subsidies to production. Community and firm optimal strategies are then examined. Through the introduction of information asymmetries about the communities' endowments, equilibrium bidding strategies for communities are found. The results show that auction institutions used by firms may in fact be signaling on the part of communities. These results also indicate that community bids reveal information, and restrictions on this bidding may do more harm than good.
Stichwort: Tax breaks, Subsidies, Plant location, Tax competition, and Asymmetric information Fach: H70 - State and local government ; Intergovernmental relations - General, R30 - Production analysis and firm location - General, and D80 - Information, knowledge, and uncertainty - General
Creator: Krusell, Per and Ríos-Rull, José-Víctor Series: Conference on economics and politics Abstract:
Some economic policies and regulations seem to have only one purpose: to prevent technological development and economic growth from occurring. In this paper, we attempt to rationalize such policies as outcomes of voting equilibria. In our environment, some agents will be worse off if the economy grows, since their skills are complementary to resources that can be allocated to growth-stimulating activities. In the absence of arrangements where votes are traded, we show that for some initial skill distributions, the economy may stagnate due to growth-preventing policies. Different initial skill distributions, however, lead to voting outcomes and policies in support of technological development, and to persistent economic growth. In making our argument formally, we use a dynamic model with induced heterogeneity in agents' skills. In their voting decisions, agents compare how they will be affected under each policy alternative, and then vote for the policy that maximizes their welfare.
Fach: O41 - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models and O31 - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
Creator: Boerma, Job and Karabarbounis, Loukas Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 746 Abstract:
We revisit the causes, welfare consequences, and policy implications of the dispersion in households' labor market outcomes using a model with uninsurable risk, incomplete asset markets, and home production. Accounting for home production amplifies welfare-based differences across households meaning that inequality is larger than we thought. Home production does not offset differences that originate in the market sector because productivity differences in the home sector are significant and the time input in home production does not covary with consumption expenditures and wages in the cross section of households. The optimal tax system should feature more progressivity taking into account home production.
Stichwort: Inequality, Labor supply, Home production, and Consumption Fach: D10 - Household Behavior: General, J22 - Time Allocation and Labor Supply, E21 - Macroeconomics: Consumption; Saving; Wealth, and D60 - Welfare Economics: General
Creator: Guvenen, Fatih, Kuruscu, Burhanettin, Tanaka, Satoshi, and Wiczer, David Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 729 Abstract:
What determines the earnings of a worker relative to his peers in the same occupation? What makes a worker fail in one occupation but succeed in another? More broadly, what are the factors that determine the productivity of a worker-occupation match? In this paper, we propose an empirical measure of skill mismatch for a worker-occupation match, which sheds light on these questions. This measure is based on the discrepancy between the portfolio of skills required by an occupation and the portfolio of abilities possessed by a worker for learning those skills. This measure arises naturally in a dynamic model of occupational choice and human capital accumulation with multidimensional skills and Bayesian learning about one’s ability to learn these skills. In this model, mismatch is central to the career outcomes of workers: it reduces the returns to occupational tenure, and it predicts occupational switching behavior. We construct our empirical analog by combining data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY79), the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) on workers, and the O*NET on occupations. Our empirical results show that the effects of mismatch on wages are large and persistent: mismatch in occupations held early in life has a strong negative effect on wages in future occupations. Skill mismatch also significantly increases the probability of an occupational switch and predicts its direction in the skill space. These results provide fresh evidence on the importance of skill mismatch for the job search process.
Stichwort: Mincer regression, ASVAB, Match quality, Skill mismatch, O*NET, and Occupational switching Fach: J24 - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity, J31 - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials, and E24 - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
Creator: Luttmer, Erzo G. J. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 715 Abstract:
Randomness in individual discovery tends to spread out productivities in a population, while learning from others keeps productivities together. In combination, these two mechanisms for knowledge accumulation give rise to long-term growth and persistent income inequality. This paper considers a world in which those with more useful knowledge can teach those with less useful knowledge, with competitive markets assigning students to teachers. In equilibrium, students who are able to learn quickly are assigned to teachers with the most productive knowledge. The long-run growth rate of this economy is governed by the rate at which the fastest learners can learn. The income distribution reflects learning ability and serendipity, both in individual discovery and in the assignment of students to teachers. Because of naturally arising indeterminacies in this assignment, payoff irrelevant characteristics can be predictors of individual income growth. Ability rents can be large when fast learners are scarce, when the process of individual discovery is not too noisy, and when overhead labor costs are low.
Stichwort: Inequality, Knowledge diffusion, and Growth Fach: O30 - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights: General, L20 - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior: General, and O40 - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity: General
Creator: Chiu, Jonathan, Meh, Cesaire, and Wright, Randall D. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 688 Abstract:
The generation and implementation of ideas, or knowledge, is crucial for economic performance. We study this process in a model of endogenous growth with frictions. Productivity increases with knowledge, which advances via innovation, and with the exchange of ideas from those who generate them to those best able to implement them (technology transfer). But frictions in this market, including search, bargaining, and commitment problems, impede exchange and thus slow growth. We characterize optimal policies to subsidize research and trade in ideas, given both knowledge and search externalities. We discuss the roles of liquidity and financial institutions, and show two ways in which intermediation can enhance efficiency and innovation. First, intermediation allows us to finance more transactions with fewer assets. Second, it ameliorates certain bargaining problems, by allowing entrepreneurs to undo otherwise sunk investments in liquidity. We also discuss some evidence, suggesting that technology transfer is a significant source of innovation and showing how it is affected by credit considerations.
Stichwort: Financial frictions, Technology transfer, Innovation, and Growth Fach: G10 - General Financial Markets: General (includes Measurement and Data) and D83 - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness