We develop a theory of career paths and earnings where agents organize in production hierarchies. Agents climb these hierarchies as they learn stochastically from others. Earnings grow as agents acquire knowledge and occupy positions with more subordinates. We contrast these and other implications with US census data for the period 1990 to 2010, matching the Lorenz curve of earnings and the observed mean experience-earnings profiles. We show the increase in wage inequality over this period can be rationalized with a shift in the level of the complexity and profitability of technologies relative to the distribution of knowledge in the population.
"Learning, Career Paths, and the Distribution of Wages."
American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics,
Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials