NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Costas Cavounidis

Department of Economics
Boston University
270 Bay State Road
Boston, MA 02215

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org

NBER Working Papers and Publications

April 2017Ben-Porath meets Lazear: Lifetime Skill Investment and Occupation Choice with Multiple Skills
with Kevin Lang: w23367
We develop a fairly general and tractable model of investment when workers can invest in multiple skills and different jobs put different weights on those skills. In addition to expected findings such as that younger workers are more likely than older workers to respond to a demand shock by investing in skills whose value unexpectedly increases, we derive some less obvious results. Credit constraints may affect investment even when they do not bind it equilibrium. If there are mobility costs, firms will generally have an incentive to invest in some of their workers' skills even when there are a large number of similar competitors, and, in equilibrium, there can be overinvestment in all skills. Worker skill accumulation resembles learning by doing even in its absence. We demonstrate how the...
October 2015Discrimination and Worker Evaluation
with Kevin Lang: w21612
We develop a model of self-sustaining discrimination in wages, coupled with higher unemployment and shorter employment duration among blacks. While white workers are hired and retained indefinitely without monitoring, black workers are monitored and fired if a negative signal is received. The fired workers, who return to the pool of job-seekers, lower the average productivity of black job-seekers, perpetuating the cycle of lower wages and discriminatory monitoring. Under suitable parameter values the model has two steady states, one corresponding to each population group. Discrimination can persist even if the productivity of blacks exceeds that of whites.
 
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