NBER Working Papers by David Green

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Working Papers

March 2001Population Growth, Technological Adoption and Economic Outcomes: A Theory of Cross-Country Differences for the Information Era
with Paul Beaudry: w8149
The object of this paper is to show how population growth, through its interaction with recent technological and organizational developments, can account for many of the cross-country differences in economic outcome observed among industrialized countries over the last 20 years. In particular, our model illustrates how a large decrease in the price of information technology can create a comparative advantage for high population growth economies to jump ahead in the adoption of computer- and skill-intensive models of production as a means to exploiting their relative abundance of human capital versus physical capital. The predictions of the model are that, over the span of the information revolution, industrial countries with higher population growth rates will experience a more pronounce...
May 2000The Changing Structure of Wages in the US and Germany: What Explains the Differences?
with Paul Beaudry: w7697
Over the last twenty years the wage-education relationships in the US and Germany have evolved very differently, while the education composition of employment has evolved in a surprisingly parallel fashion. In this paper, we propose and test an explanation to these conflicting patterns. The model we present has two important elements: (1) technological change arises in the form of an alternative production process as opposed to being in the factor augmenting form, which renders technological adoption endogenous, (2) aggregate production depends on three factors (physical capital, human capital and labor). Based on this framework, we show why imbalances in the accumulation of human versus physical capital will be especially detrimental to low skill workers when the new technology is skill-b...
December 1998What is Driving US and Canadian Wages: Exogenous Technical Change or Endogenous Choice of Technique?
with Paul Beaudry: w6853
This paper proposes a new and unified explanation for the following trends observed over the last 25 years: (1) the increased returns to education, (2) the slow measured growth in TFP in an economy undergoing massive changes in its methods of production, and (3) the poor wage performance, relative to TFP growth, of both young high school and college educated workers. The explanation we propose downplays the role of exogenous skill-biased technological change and instead emphasizes how the endogenous choice of modes of organization, influenced by changes in factor supplies, can generate the above observations. For example, we argue that increased education attainment, through its effect of the choice production techniques, may have been the major cause for the increased differential betwee...
August 1997Cohort Patterns in Canadian Earnings: Assessing the Role of Skill Premia in Inequality Trends
with Paul Beaudry: w6132
This paper documents the pattern of change in age-earnings profiles across cohorts and evaluates its implications. Using synthetic cohorts from the Survey of Consumer Finances over the period 1971 to 1993, we show that the age-earning profiles of Canadian men have been deteriorating for more recent cohorts in comparison to older cohorts. We find this pattern for both high school and university educated workers. In no case do we find evidence that the return to gaining experience has been increasing over time, nor do we find increased within-cohort dispersion of earnings. We view these findings as conflicting with the hypothesis that increased skill-premium largely explains the observed increase in dispersion of male weekly earnings in Canada. When looking at the pattern for women, we f...

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