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Jacks of All Trades and Masters of One: Declining Search Frictions and Unequal Growth

Paolo Martellini () and Guido Menzio ()

No 613, Staff Report from Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

Abstract: Declining search frictions generate productivity growth by allowing workers to find jobs for which they are better suited. The return of declining search frictions on productivity varies across different types of workers. For workers who are "jacks of all trades" in the sense that their productivity is nearly independent from the distance between their skills and the requirements of their job—declining search frictions lead to minimal productivity growth. For workers who are "masters of one trade" in the sense that their productivity is very sensitive to the gap between their individual skills and the requirements of their job—declining search frictions lead to fast productivity growth. As predicted by this view, we find that workers in routine occupations have low wage dispersion and growth, while workers in non-routine occupations have high wage dispersion and growth.

Keywords: Search frictions; Biased technical change; Growth; Inequality (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E24 J24 J31 J64 O47 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 19
Date: 2020-09-23
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dge and nep-mac
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Journal Article: Jacks of All Trades and Masters of One: Declining Search Frictions and Unequal Growth (2021) Downloads
Working Paper: Jacks of All Trades and Masters of One: Declining Search Frictions and Unequal Growth (2020) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:fip:fedmsr:88800

DOI: 10.21034/sr.613

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