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Skilled Tradable Services: The Transformation of U.S. High-Skill Labor Markets
We study a group of service industries that are skill-intensive, widely traded, and have recently seen explosive wage growth. Between 1980 and 2015, these ?Skilled Tradable Services? accounted for a sharply increasing share of employment among the highest earning Americans. Unlike any other sector, their wage growth was strongly biased toward the densest local labor markets and the highest paying firms. These services alone explain 30% of the increase in inequality between the 50th and 90th percentiles of the wage distribution. We offer an explanation for these patterns that highlights the ...
Capital-Task Complementarity and the Decline of the U.S. Labor Share of Income
This paper provides evidence that shifts in the occupational composition of the U.S. workforce are the most important factor explaining the trend decline in the labor share over the past four decades. Estimates suggest that while there is unitary elasticity between equipment capital and non-routine tasks, equipment capital and routine tasks are highly substitutable. Through the lenses of a general equilibrium model with occupational choice and the estimated production technology, I document that the fall in relative price of equipment capital alone can explain 72 percent of the observed ...
Indivisibilities in Distribution
This paper develops and estimates a model of indivisibilities in shipping and economies of scale in consolidation. It uses highly detailed data on imports where it is possible to observe the contents of individual containers. In the model, ?rms are able to adapt to indivisibility constraints by using consolidation strategies and by making adjustments to shipment size. The ?rm determines the optimal number of domestic ports to use, taking into account that adding more ports lowers inland freight cost, at the expense of a higher indivisibility cost. The estimated model is able to roughly ...