Economics Seminars: Rafael Lopes De Melo (Edinburgh)

30 October 2019, 2.00 PM - 30 October 2019, 3.00 PM

Rafael Lopes De Melo (Edinburgh)

1B6, Priory Road Complex

Title: Occupational Choice, Human Capital and Learning: A Multi-Armed Bandit Approach

Abstract: Young workers, while employed in an occupation, accumulate human capital and also learn about their underlying productivity in that occupation. Human capital is partially transferable to other occupations and similarly the information acquired in one occupation is useful about the worker's productivity in another occupation. Occupations differ in their rates of human capital accumulation and also the speed at which workers learn about their productivity. Workers with low tenure levels, as well as low paid workers are the ones most likely to switch occupations, consistent with our empirical findings. We introduce a model that includes these features, but remains tractable through the use of Gittins indices. We structurally estimate our setup focusing on the nine major occupational groups and use it in a number of applications.

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