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Learning, Career Paths, and the Distribution of Wages

Santiago Caicedo, Robert Lucas and Esteban Rossi-Hansberg ()

American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, 2019, vol. 11, issue 1, 49-88

Abstract: We develop a theory of career paths and earnings where agents organize in production hierarchies. Agents climb these hierarchies as they learn stochastically from others. Earnings grow as agents acquire knowledge and occupy positions with more subordinates. We contrast these and other implications with US census data for the period 1990 to 2010, matching the Lorenz curve of earnings and the observed mean experience-earnings profiles. We show the increase in wage inequality over this period can be rationalized with a shift in the level of the complexity and profitability of technologies relative to the distribution of knowledge in the population.

JEL-codes: D83 E24 J24 J31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
Note: DOI: 10.1257/mac.20170390
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Working Paper: Learning, Career Paths, and the Distribution of Wages (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: Learning, Career Paths, and the Distribution of Wages (2016) Downloads
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