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Training and Lifetime Income

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  • Burhanettin Kuruscu

Abstract

This paper challenges the notion that on-the-job training investments are quantitatively important for workers' welfare and argues that on-the-job training may not increase lifetime income by more than 1 percent. I argue that it is very difficult to reconcile the slowdown in wage growth late in a worker's career with optimizing behavior unless the technology for learning on the job is such that it generates very low gains from training. The analysis is based on a nonparametric methodology for estimating the learning technology from wage profiles; the results are arrived at by comparing the lifetime income when the worker optimally invests in his human capital to the one where he does not make any investments. (JEL: E24, J24, J31)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.96.3.832
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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/june06_data_20030612.zip
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 96 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 832-846

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:96:y:2006:i:3:p:832-846

Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.96.3.832
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References

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  1. Yoram Ben-Porath, 1967. "The Production of Human Capital and the Life Cycle of Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 352.
  2. Heckman, James J & Lochner, Lance & Taber, Christopher, 1998. "Tax Policy and Human-Capital Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 293-97, May.
  3. Fatih Guvenen, 2006. "Learning your earning: are labor income shocks really very persistent?," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 145, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  4. Lynch, Lisa M, 1992. "Private-Sector Training and the Earnings of Young Workers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 299-312, March.
  5. Ryder, Harl E & Stafford, Frank P & Stephan, Paula E, 1976. "Labor, Leisure and Training over the Life Cycle," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 17(3), pages 651-74, October.
  6. Mark Hugget & Gustavo Ventura & Amir Yaron, 2002. "Human Capital and Earnings Distribution Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 9366, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Alan S. Blinder & Yoram Weiss, 1975. "Human Capital and Labor Supply: A Synthesis," NBER Working Papers 0067, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Heathcote, Jonathan & Storesletten, Kjetil & Violante, Giovanni L, 2004. "The Cross-Sectional Implications of Rising Wage Inequality in the United States," CEPR Discussion Papers 4296, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Haley, William J, 1976. "Estimation of the Earnings Profile from Optimal Human Capital Accumulation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(6), pages 1223-38, November.
  10. Heckman, James J & Lochner, Lance & Taber, Christopher, 1998. "General-Equilibrium Treatment Effects: A Study of Tuition Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 381-86, May.
  11. James J. Heckman & Lance Lochner & Christopher Taber, 1998. "Explaining Rising Wage Inequality: Explorations with a Dynamic General Equilibrium Model of Labor Earnings with Heterogeneous Agents," NBER Working Papers 6384, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Heckman, James J, 1976. "A Life-Cycle Model of Earnings, Learning, and Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages S11-44, August.
  13. Martin Browning & Lars Peter Hansen & James J. Heckman, 1999. "Micro Data and General Equilibrium Models," Discussion Papers 99-10, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  14. Brown, James N, 1989. "Why Do Wages Increase with Tenure? On-the-Job Training and Life-Cycle Wage Growth Observed within Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 971-91, December.
  15. Rosen, Sherwin, 1976. "A Theory of Life Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages S45-67, August.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Fatih Guvenen & Burhanettin Kuruscu, 2009. "A quantitative analysis of the evolution of the U.S. wage distribution, 1970-2000," Staff Report 427, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Johanna Wallenius, 2011. "Human Capital Accumulation and the Intertemporal Elasticity of Substitution of Labor: How Large is the Bias?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 14(4), pages 577-591, October.
  3. William Peterman, 2012. "The Effect of Endogenous Human Capital Accumulation on Optimal Taxation," 2012 Meeting Papers 204, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Xavier d'Haultfoeuille & Arnaud Maurel, 2010. "Inference on a Generalized Roy Model, with an Application to Schooling Decisions in France," Working Papers 2010-11, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  5. Mark Huggett & Gustavo Ventura & Amir Yaron, 2010. "Sources of Lifetime Inequality," Working Papers 2011-020, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  6. Bowlus, Audra J. & Robinson, Chris, 2011. "Human Capital Prices, Productivity and Growth," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2011-32, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 22 Dec 2011.
  7. Fatih Guvenen & Burhanettin Kuruscu, 2012. "Understanding The Evolution Of The Us Wage Distribution: A Theoretical Analysis," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 482-517, 05.
  8. P. Rupert & G. Zanella, 2014. "Revisiting wage, earnings, and hours profiles," Working Papers wp936, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  9. Fatih Guvenen & Burhanettin Kuruscu, 2006. "Understanding Wage Inequality: Ben-Porath Meets Skill-Biased Technical Change," 2006 Meeting Papers 881, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. Fatih Guvenen & Burhanettin Kuruscu, 2006. "Ben-Porath meets skill-biased technical change: a theoretical analysis of rising inequality," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 144, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

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