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Essays on Human Capital Accumulation over the Life-Cycle

Goll, David; (2022) Essays on Human Capital Accumulation over the Life-Cycle. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London).

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This thesis contains three papers, each focusing on a different aspect of human capital accumulation after the conclusion of compulsory education. In the first paper, I focus on higher education. I estimate a novel two-sided matching model, where heterogenous students match to courses with limited capacity. Using the estimated model, I simulate a wide set of policies aimed at boosting intergenerational income mobility. I conclude that achieving substantial improvements in mobility through the higher education system is likely to require reforms to admissions policy, such as percent plans. In the second and third paper, I focus on human capital accumulation after entering the labour market. There are two alternative models for how individuals accumulate human capital while working: learning-by-doing, where human capital is a by-product of labour, and Ben-Porath, where agents must divide their time between learning and earning. In the second paper, I estimate models of both types. I find that neither can satisfactorily replicate the qualitative features of women’s wages and time use in early working life. I then extend the model to incorporate both mechanisms simultaneously and show that this greatly improves model fit. I consider reforms to the benefit system and find that in my preferred model lowering the withdrawal rate for benefits reduces wage growth when women are young but increases wages for older women. In the third paper, I use a model incorporating both learning-by-doing and Ben-Porath style human capital accumulation to investigate the role of on-the-job training in reducing the gender wage gap. Women often reduce working hours following childbirth and, as a result, experience slower wage growth than men. I find that training is potentially important in compensating for this loss in work experience, especially for women who left full-time education after completing high school.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Essays on Human Capital Accumulation over the Life-Cycle
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2022. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Economics
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10145114
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