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Training, technological changes, and displacement

By matching industry/occupation data on training to displaced worker data from the Current Population Surveys, this paper analyzes why many older workers were displaced by technological changes in the 1990s, and why these workers incurred large earnings losses. When technological changes depreciate the existing stock of firm-specific human capital, older workers who receive higher wages from the sharing arrangement of the returns to investment in firm-specific human capital are dismissed as firms find it unprofitable to retain them. These displaced workers have higher predisplacement wages with steeper wage–tenure profiles, and hence incur larger earnings losses after displacement than other displaced workers.