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Abstract

Wages grow rapidly for young workers, and the human capital investment model is the classic framework to explain this growth. While estimation and the theory of human capital have traditionally focused on general human capital, both have evolved toward models of heterogeneous human capital. In this article, we review and evaluate the current state of this literature. We exposit the classic model of general human capital investment and extend it to show how a model of heterogeneous human capital can nest previous models. We then summarize the empirical literature on firm-specific human capital, industry- and occupation-specific human capital, and task-specific human capital and discuss how these concepts can explain a wide variety of labor market phenomena that traditional models cannot.

[Erratum, Closure]

An erratum has been published for this article:
Life-Cycle Wage Growth and Heterogeneous Human Capital
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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-economics-080511-111011
2012-09-26
2024-04-21
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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