O*NET® Products at Work

Human Capital and Economic Activity in Urban America external site from Federal Reserve Bank of New York external site

A study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York titled Human Capital and Economic Activity in Urban America (Abel & Gabe, 2008) examined the relationship between human capital (educational attainment and other knowledge measures) and economic activity in U.S. metropolitan areas. The following is from their study. To arrive at the knowledge variables used in our analysis, we matched occupational categories between the O*NET system and 2000 U.S. Census. In many cases, we combined multiple O*NET occupations into a single Census category. Following the general approach used by Ingram and Neumann (2006) and Lakdawalla and Philipson (2007), we utilized the average value of the knowledge importance or level across multiple occupations in the O*NET data. With this information then available for 470 Census occupations, we calculated a knowledge index that is the product of the knowledge importance and the knowledge level. Feser (2003) used the same approach, noting that it places a greater emphasis on high knowledge that is relevant to a given occupation.

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