Human Capital: A Comparative Study of the Skill and Knowledge Intensity of Work in Australia and New Zealand

Alexis Esposto, Swinburne University of Technology
Malcolm Abbott, Swinburne University of Technology

Abstract: Over the past twenty years a persistent gap has existed in income and productivity levels between Australia and New Zealand. One possible contributor to the creation of this gap is the different levels of skill and knowledge embodied by the workforces of the two countries. This paper analyses the intensity of skill and knowledge in different types of employment in the two countries. In order to undertake this analysis, O*NET measures of skill and knowledge and Australian and New Zealand employment data are used. The paper concludes that although the knowledge and skill intensities of the labour forces in the two countries are broadly similar, they do exhibit some important differences.