Skill Biased Financial Development: Education, Wages and Occupations in the U.S. Financial Sector
46 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2008
Date Written: September 2007
Over the past 60 years, the U.S. financial sector has grown from 2.3% to 7.7% of GDP.While the growth in the share of value added has been fairly linear, it hides a dramaticchange in the composition of skills and occupations. In the early 1980s, the financial sector started paying higher wages and hiring more skilled individuals than the rest of economy. These trends reflect a shift away from low-skill jobs and towards market oriented activities within the sector. Our evidence suggests that technological andfinancial innovations both played a role in this transformation. We also document anincrease in relative wages, controlling for education, which partly reflects an increase in unemployment risk: Finance jobs used to be safer than other jobs in the private sector,but this is not longer the case.
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