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Essays about Retraining and Human Capital

Kim, Jiyeon (2020) Essays about Retraining and Human Capital. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This dissertation consists of three essays about retraining and human capital. In the first essay, I study the equilibrium effects of retraining in an economy with directed job search. Not only does retraining improve participants' skills, it also changes non-participants' optimal job search strategies and, in turn, their re-employment outcomes. I find that retraining reduces between-skill inequality, whereas it increases within-skill inequality. Eliminating retraining causes welfare losses equivalent to a $1.5$ percent drop in consumption. Evaluating various labor market policies aimed to encourage retraining participation, I show that combining retraining with a more generous unemployment insurance benefit is the most cost-effective and welfare-maximizing policy.

The second essay explores the gender gap in retraining participation. I address four possible explanations on what causes women to participate in retraining more actively than men. Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY97), I discuss the role of social skills, occupations, marital status, and non-college job opportunities. I find that the return to retraining increases with participants' social skills, which supports the hypothesis that retraining rates are higher for women because they benefit more from retraining thanks to their high social skills. I also raise the possibility that female-dominant professions are more supportive in terms of workers' education. Neither marital status nor non-college opportunities appear to explain the gender gap in retraining.

In the third essay, I investigate the effects of academic collaboration on research productivity. The human capital of a group of researchers is combined by the CES production technology and produces a research outcome measured by the quality of the paper. The estimated elasticity of substitution suggests that researchers are imperfect complements. I use the estimates to simulate the growth of human capital of a researcher under different collaboration scenarios. I find that collaborating with an equally productive coauthor generates a considerable increase in human capital. The effects of collaboration persist over time. I show that the link between human capital and collaboration opportunities play an important role in explaining this persistence.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Kim, Jiyeonjik51@pitt.edujik510000-0001-9749-2459
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairAlbanesi,
Committee MemberCoen-Pirani,
Committee MemberHanley,
Committee MemberWee, Shu
Date: 16 September 2020
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 23 April 2020
Approval Date: 16 September 2020
Submission Date: 13 May 2020
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 114
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Economics
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Retraining, directed search, gender gap, collaboration, research productivity
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2020 14:15
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2020 14:15


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