题目：Capital-Skill Complementarity, Sectoral Labor Productivity, and Structural Transformation
主讲人：Chaoran Chen（National University of Singapore）
Labor productivity grows faster in the goods sector than in the service sector in the postwar U.S. economy, which leads to the well-known structural transformation. I explain the dif- ferences in labor productivity growth through the lens of capital-skill complementarity. In the postwar U.S. economy, the goods sector consists of a larger portion of low-skilled labor than the service sector, and capital intensity increases faster in the goods sector. To assess their impacts on sectoral labor productivity growth, I build a two-sector neoclassical growth model in which capital substitutes low-skilled labor while it complements high-skilled labor. Along with economic growth, capital becomes relatively more abundant than labor. The resulting capital deepening is then faster in the goods sector because of its skill composition, and hence its labor productivity also grows faster. The calibrated model can explain almost all sectoral differences in capital intensity growth over time, and around 87% of the sectoral differences in labor productivity growth. Without capital-skill complementarity, labor pro- ductivity would have grown faster in the service sector, contradicting the data. I further show that it is improper to use standard growth accounting to quantify the contribution of capital deepening on sectoral labor productivity growth in this context.
Prof. Chen is currently an Assistant Professor at the National University of Singapore. he received his Ph.D. degree in economics from the University of Toronto in 2017. His research interests are in macroeconomics and economic development. His work focuses on understanding the observed cross-country productivity differences through the lens of resource misallocation, structural transformation, and technology adoption, using both general equilibrium models and micro data. He has published paper in top journal such as American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics.
美编 | 刘劼珂
校对 | 钟尧、黄静瑶、刘劼珂