The obsolescence of skill Chapter uri icon


  • If wage growth over the career results from embellishment of one's skills, then obsolescence is a matter of luck, a matter of the vagaries of market demand and of innovations that prize alternative skills. If wage growth results from learning and adapting to change, then obsolescence is the mirror image of learning; what was relevant yesterday is less relevant today. After tracing the antecedents of the productivity of education among farmers, which stresses the role of adapting, we turn to an empirical examination of career wage paths of men and women in the United States. Consistent with the view that career growth results from the acquisition of new skills in a changing environment, we find that rates of assimilation and rates of decay increase with one's education. 2002.

author list (cited authors)

  • Welch, F., & Ureta, M.

editor list (cited editors)

  • de Grip, A., van Loo, J., & Mayhew, K.

Book Title

  • The Economics of Skills Obsolescence: Theoretical Innovations and Empirical Applications

publication date

  • January 1, 2002 11:11 AM