Education, Skills, and Technical ChangeImplications for Future US GDP Growth

Education, Skills, and Technical ChangeImplications for Future US GDP Growth

Charles R. Hulten and Valerie A. Ramey

Print publication date: 2019

ISBN: 9780226567808

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


The growth in future US living standards will likely depend significantly on the evolution in the “knowledge” economy. This may require a parallel transformation in worker skills in order to implement and operate the new technology and business models. A century ago the US became a world leader in the expansion of secondary and tertiary education, which helped propel US productivity growth for decades. However, a growing body of evidence suggests that human capital accumulation in the US has slowed in recent years and may not be keeping pace with the evolving demands placed on it. What are the implications of the evolution of human capital and its interaction with technology on the future of US growth? This volume studies various facets of this question. The overall objective is to provide an overview of some of the main issues and basic statistics of educational attainment in the US, and to explore some of the demand and supply channels through which the skills and education of the labor force impact GDP growth. There is still considerable debate over many of the issues examined in this volume, including the roles of college and vocational education, and the size and nature of the “skills gap”. The authors bring new data to bear on some the issues, and attempt to link different bodies of research (growth accounting, skill-development, issues in higher education, immigration, etc.) to assess how well students are being prepared for the current and future world of work.

Table of Contents


Charles R. Hulten and Valerie A. Ramey

I The Macroeconomic Link between Education and Real GDP Growth

1 Educational Attainment and the Revival of US Economic Growth

Dale W. Jorgenson, Mun S. Ho, and Jon D. Samuels

2 The Outlook for US Labor-Quality Growth

Canyon Bosler, Mary C. Daly, John G. Fernald, and Bart Hobijn

Comment on Chapters 1 and 2

Douglas W. Elmendorf

II Jobs and Skills Requirements

5 The Requirements of Jobs

Maury Gittleman, Kristen Monaco, and Nicole Nestoriak

III Skills, Inequality, and Polarization


David J. Deming

7 Wage Inequality and Cognitive Skills

Stijn Broecke, Glenda Quintini, and Marieke Vandeweyer


Frank Levy


David Autor

IV The Supply of Skills

10 Accounting for the Rise in College Tuition

Grey Gordon and Aaron Hedlund


Sandy Baum


Nora Gordon


John Bound