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Earnings Over the Life Cycle: The Mincer Earnings Function and Its Applications

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  • Polachek, Solomon W.

Abstract

In 1958, Jacob Mincer pioneered an important approach to understand how earnings are distributed across the population. In the years since Mincer's seminal work, he as well as his students and colleagues extended the original human capital model, reaching important conclusions about a whole array of observations pertaining to human well-being. This line of research explained why education enhances earnings; why earnings rise at a diminishing rate throughout one's life; why earnings growth is smaller for those anticipating intermittent labor force participation; why males earn more than females; why whites earn more than blacks; why occupational distributions differ by gender; why geographic and job mobility predominate among the young; and why numerous other labor market phenomena occur. This review surveys the answers to these and other questions based on research emanating from Mincer's original earnings function specification.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/0700000018
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by now publishers in its journal Foundations and Trends(R) in Microeconomics.

Volume (Year): 4 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (April)
Pages: 165-272

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Handle: RePEc:now:fntmic:0700000018

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Web page: http://www.nowpublishers.com/

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Cited by:
  1. Bruno, Bruna & Fiorillo, Damiano, 2014. "Voluntary work and wages," MPRA Paper 52989, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Marta Lachowska, 2013. "Employment Relations and Wages: What Can We Learn from Subjective Assessments?," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 13-196, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  3. Almeida-Santos, Filipe & Chzhen, Yekaterina & Mumford, Karen A., 2010. "Employee Training and Wage Dispersion: White and Blue Collar Workers in Britain," IZA Discussion Papers 4821, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Pfeifer, Christian, 2009. "An Intra-Firm Perspective on Wage Profiles and Employment of Older Workers with Special Reference to Human Capital and Deferred Compensation," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-413, Leibniz Universit├Ąt Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakult├Ąt.

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