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CEP discussion paper
The Allocation of Talent over the Business Cycle and its Effect on Sectoral Productivity
Michael Boehm and Martin Watzinger
May 2012
Paper No' CEPDP1143:
Full Paper (pdf)

JEL Classification: J24; E32; I23; J22; J23

Tags: talent allocation; sectoral productivity; business cycle; roy model; phd economists

It is well documented that graduates enter different occupations in recessions than in booms. In this article, we examine the impact of this reallocation for long-term productivity and output across sectors. We develop a model in which talent flows to stable sectors in recessions and to cyclical sectors in booms. We find evidence for the predicted change in productivity caused by the business cycle in a setting where output can be readily measured: economists starting or graduating from their PhD in a recession are significantly more productive over the long term than economists starting or graduating in a boom.

This paper has been published as:
The Allocation of Talent over the Business Cycle and its Long-term Effect on Sectoral Productivity, Michael J. Boehm and Martin Watzinger, Economica, Volume 82, Issue 328, October 2015