Substitution and the skill premium

Project Summary:

Economic inequality research has long focused on household income and wealth or individual earnings. Recent evidence suggests that the share of total income is increasingly diverting from labor to capitol. Yet the reasons for the declining labor share of income are not yet clear. This project examines several potential causes for this decline, particularly looking at differences in skills among workers and how those skill differences affect firms’ decisions about production.


Ezra Oberfield is Assistant Professor of Economics at Princeton University. His research interests lie in the areas of macroeconomics, firm dynamics, and growth. His recent work has focused on firm-to-firm production networks, the division of income between capital and labor, and idea flows.

Currently on the faculty of Princeton University, Oberfield previously served as an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. He is a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a CESifo research network affiliate.

Oberfield received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics from Yale University and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago.