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Author: Hernandez Martinez, Victor
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1. Hernandez Martinez, Victor
Essays in Labor and Public Economics
Ph.D. Dissertation, School of Arts and Sciences, University of Rochester, 2021
Cohort(s): NLSY79, NLSY97
Publisher: ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT)
Keyword(s): Displaced Workers; Earnings; Human Capital; Occupational Information Network (O*NET); Occupations; Work Histories

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

Chapter 2 provides an alternative approach to define the specificity of human capital, based on how concentrated, or specialized, is the knowledge used in an occupation. I combine this new measure with individual labor histories from the NLSY79-97 to analyze the heterogeneity of earning losses following an exogenous displacement. I provide evidence that, holding any other individual and aggregated characteristics constant, greater levels of knowledge specialization at displacement are associated with significantly larger earning losses, in the range of an additional 5 to 9 pp for an individual in the 75th percentile of knowledge specialization vs the 25th percentile. This larger losses do not seem to be driven by longer periods of unemployment or longer distance (in the task space) occupational moves following displacement. In addition, I show that the loss premia associated with changing industries/occupations post displacement is almost fully driven by higher specialization levels. For low specialization levels, industry/occupational changes imply relatively small additional losses after the first year. Furthermore, I do not find evidence of negative effect of higher pre displacement specialization on earning losses for those who remain in the same industry or occupation.
Bibliography Citation
Hernandez Martinez, Victor. Essays in Labor and Public Economics. Ph.D. Dissertation, School of Arts and Sciences, University of Rochester, 2021.