Human Capital Responses to Technological Change in the Labor Market
34 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2000 Last revised: 4 Jan 2002
Date Written: December 1989
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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