Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Essays in Macroeconomics
by Shim, Myung Kyu, Ph.D., University of California, San Diego, 2014, 102; 3622812
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation consists of two papers in the field of Macro Labor and one paper in the field of global games. In particular, the first two chapters focus on studying why the progress of job polarization has been different across industries between 1980 and 2010 and the last chapter analyzes the interaction between the precision of exogenous and market generated information in coordination economies.

The first chapter empirically explores the relationship between job polarization and interindustry wage differentials. By using the U.S. Census and EU KLEMS data, we find that the progress of job polarization between 1980 and 2009 was more evident in industries that initially paid a high wage premium to workers than in industries that did not. We argue that this phenomenon can be explained as a dynamic response of firms to interindustry wage differentials: firms with a high wage premium seek alternative ways to cut production costs by replacing workers who perform routine tasks with Information, Communication, and Technology (ICT) capital. The replacement of routine workers with ICT capital has become more pronounced as the price of ICT capital has fallen over the past 30 years. As a result, firms that are constrained to pay a relatively high wage premium have experienced slower growth of employment of routine workers than firms in low-wage industries, which led to heterogeneity in job polarization across industries.

Then the second chapter proposes a theory that unveils the mechanism underlying the close relationship between job polarization and interindustry wage differentials, which is studied empirically in the first chapter. In particular, we develop a two-sector neoclassical growth model with three key features. First, industries differ in the wage rates they pay to workers. Second, routine workers are relative substitutes for capital while non-routine workers are relative complement to capital. Last, there is an exogenous investment-specific technology change. Main predictions of the model are that (1) job polarization is more evident and (2) capital-routine worker ratio increases more in the industry that pays higher wages to workers when there is an investment-specific technology change, which are consistent with the empirical findings in the first chapter.

In the last chapter, we study the interaction between the precision of exogenous and market-generated information in a class of economies where firms display coordination motives in presence of dispersed information and where the outcome of the coordination is traded in a competitive asset market รก-la Grossman and Stiglitz (1980). We show that when more private information is injected in the coordination economy the equilibrium asset price becomes less informative. To showcase the relevance of our result we present an application to a problem of endogenous information choice where the "Knowing What Others Know" property of information acquisition derived by Hellwig and Veldkamp (2009) breaks down in presence of market-generated information.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ramey, Valerie A.
Commitee: Baranga, Thomas H., Engelberg, Joseph E., Hanson, Gordon H., Rondina, Giacomo, Telyukova, Irina A.
School: University of California, San Diego
Department: Economics
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 75/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Economics
Keywords: Coordination economies, Information acquisition, Job polarization, Public information, Wage differentials
Publication Number: 3622812
ISBN: 9781303948251
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