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Vintage Human Capital, Growth, and Diffusion of New Technology

Working Paper 375 | Published February 1, 1991

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Vintage Human Capital, Growth, and Diffusion of New Technology

Abstract

This paper develops a model of vintage human capital in which each technology requires vintage specific skills. We examine the properties of a stationary equilibrium for our economy. The stationary equilibrium is characterized by an endogenous distribution of skilled workers across vintages. The distribution is shown to be single peaked and, under general conditions, there is a lag between the time when a technology appears and the peak of it's usage, a phenomenon known as diffusion. An increase in the rate of exogenous technological change shifts the distribution of human capital to more recent vintages thereby increasing the diffusion rate.


Published in _Journal of Political Economy_ (Vol. 99, No. 6, December 1991, pp. 1142-1165), https://doi.org/10.1086/261795.