NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Human Capital Responses to Technological Change in the Labor Market

Jacob Mincer

NBER Working Paper No. 3207
Issued in December 1989
NBER Program(s):LS

In a broad sense, the relation of human capital to economic growth is reciprocal. This study focuses more narrowly on labor market consequences of human capital adjustments to the pace of technological change. Using Jorgensons multifactor productivity growth indexes for industrial sectors in the 1960's and 1970's the study explores effects of differential pace of technological changes on industry demands for educated and trained workers as reflected in PSID data covering the 1968 to 1983 period. The findings show relative increases both in quantity demanded (utilization) and in price (wages) of skilled workers in the more progressive sectors. Steeper wage profiles, lesser turnover, and lesser unemployment characterize labor in sectors whose productivity grew faster in preceding years. The growth of sectoral capital intensity produces similar effects. But, as newer vintages of capital contain new technology, the skill bias of capital intensity partly reflects the skill bias of technology.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w3207

Published: Studies in Human Capital, Elgar Publishers, 1993

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