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Can Falling Supply Explain The Rising Return To College For Younger Men? A Cohort-Based Analysis

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  • David Card
  • Thomas Lemieux

Abstract

Although the college-high school wage gap for younger U. S. men has doubled over the past 30 years, the gap for older men has remained nearly constant. In the United Kingdom and Canada the college-high school wage gap also increased for younger relative to older men. Using a model with imperfect substitution between similarly educated workers in different age groups, we argue that these shifts reflect changes in the relative supply of highly educated workers across age groups. The driving force behind these changes is the slowdown in the rate of growth of educational attainment that began with cohorts born in the early 1950s in all three countries. © 2001 the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 116 (2001)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 705-746

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:116:y:2001:i:2:p:705-746

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Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/

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  1. George J. Borjas & Richard B. Friedman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1997. "How Much Do Immigration and Trade Affect Labor Market Outcomes?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(1), pages 1-90.
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  4. Richard B. Freeman & Karen Needels, 1993. "Skill Differentials in Canada in an Era of Rising Labor Market Inequality," NBER Chapters, in: Small Differences That Matter: Labor Markets and Income Maintenance in Canada and the United States, pages 45-68 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Welch, Finis, 1979. "Effects of Cohort Size on Earnings: The Baby Boom Babies' Financial Bust," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages S65-97, October.
  6. George E. Johnson, 1997. "Changes in Earnings Inequality: The Role of Demand Shifts," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 41-54, Spring.
  7. David Card, 1998. "Falling Union Membership and Rising Wage Inequality: What's the Connection?," NBER Working Papers 6520, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
  9. John M. Abowd & Richard B. Freeman, 1991. "Immigration, Trade and the Labor Market," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number abow91-1, May.
  10. Finis Welch, 1979. "Effects of Cohort Size on Earnings: The Baby Boom Babies' Financial Bust," UCLA Economics Working Papers 146, UCLA Department of Economics.
  11. Dan T. Rosenbaum, 2000. "Ability, Educational Ranks, and Labor Market Trends: The Effects of Shifts in the Skill Composition of Educational Groups," JCPR Working Papers 146, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
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