The Economics of Has-Beens
Washington University in Saint Louis - John M. Olin Business School
Michael S. Weisbach
Ohio State University (OSU) - Department of Finance; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
NBER Working Paper No. w8464
Evolution of technology causes human capital to become obsolete. We study this phenomenon in an overlapping generations setting, assuming it is hard to predict how technology will evolve, and that older workers find updating uneconomic. Among our results is the proposition that (under certain conditions) a more rapid pace of technological advance is especially unfavorable to the old in the sense that the implied within-industry division of output or income between young and old becomes much more skewed, i.e., a smaller number of young earn comparatively more. We apply our results to architecture, an occupation in which the has-beens phenomenon has had a particularly acute impact.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 34working papers series
Date posted: September 10, 2001
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