ENDOGENOUS HUMAN CAPITAL INVESTMENT AND THE INTERACTION OF FRONTIER AND ADOPTIVE KNOWLEDGE ON GROWTH AND WAGE INEQUALITY

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Abstract:

A three-sector, overlapping-generations growth model endogenizes the opportunity cost of human capital formation and the relative skill requirements of invention, innovation, and adoption of general-purpose technologies. As a result, the relative wage of skilled workers is a function of the endogenous ratio of total-to-adoptive knowledge (where the difference in knowledge stocks is frontier knowledge). Comparative statics are examined for the model's seven parameters. Simulations (representing a transition with phases to a more complex level of economic development) are presented for simultaneous exogenous shocks capable of matching (i) observed inverse movements of the relative wage and the detrended relative supply in the USA, (ii) the sharp slowing and recovering US multifactor productivity growth data since the 1970s, and (iii) a reconciliation of data used to support or deny skill-biased technological change as a major force driving up the relative wage since 1980.

Keywords: Diffusion; Endogenous growth; Innovation; Productivity slowdown; Skill-biased technological change; Wage inequality

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10438590701552045

Affiliations: Economics Department, Augsburg College, Minneapolis, MN, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2008

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