On-the-Job Human Capital Accumulation in a Real Business Cycle Model: Implications for Intertemporal Substitution Elasticity and Labor Hoarding
A substantial fraction of a worker's time at work goes to acquiring human capital. This paper explicitly considers on-the-job human capital accumulation from the perspective of time invested for acquiring skills and learning by doing in an RBC model and shows that the inability to account for human capital accumulation leads to a substantial bias in conventional estimates of intertemporal substitution elasticity. Our main results are based on the standard intuition that the opportunity cost of time invested in acquiring human capital moves procyclically, so that on-the-job time invested in acquiring human capital is "counter-cyclical." Furthermore, the true wage rate becomes less procyclical, while production hours become more procyclical than total hours at work. The overall results can be viewed as providing a micro foundation for labor hoarding models without adjustment costs. (Copyright: Elsevier)
Intertemporal substitution; Human capital investment; Business cycle; Labor hoarding
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