Multidimensional skills, sorting, and human capital accumulation

Jeremy Lise, Fabien Postel-Vinay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


We construct a structural model of on-the-job search in which workers differ in skills along several dimensions and sort themselves into jobs with heterogeneous skill requirements along those same dimensions. Skills are accumulated when used, and depreciate when not used. We estimate the model combining data from O*NET with the NLSY79. We use the model to shed light on the origins and costs of mismatch along heterogeneous skill dimensions. We highlight the deficiencies of relying on a unidimensional model of skill when decomposing the sources of variation in the value of lifetime output between initial conditions and career shocks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2328-2376
Number of pages49
JournalAmerican Economic Review
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2020

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