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Occupational Exposure to Capital Embodied Technological Change

CIREQ-McGill Seminar 2019-2020
joint with the Department of Economics, McGill University

Leacock 429 (McGill University, 855 Sherbrooke West)

Organizer Markus Poschke (McGill University)



We construct quality-adjusted equipment stocks for 300 occupations over the last 40 years in the US, consistent with aggregate equipment series in NIPA. We build a novel measure of occupational exposure to technological change to assess the impact of capital-embodied technological change for job polarization and the skill-allocation of the labor force to different occupations. We show large heterogeneity in the impact of CETC across different equipment categories consistent with disparities in a) the intensity of usage of equipment and b) complementarity between capital and labor across occupations.  A large portion of the gains in employment at the top of the skill distribution over the last 40 years can be explained by CETC.

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