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The Growing Importance of Cognitive Skills in Wage Determination

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  • Murnane, Richard J
  • Willett, John B
  • Levy, Frank

Abstract

Using data from two longitudinal surveys of American high school seniors, the authors show that basic cognitive skills had a larger impact on wages for twenty-four-year-old men and women in 1986 than in 1978. For women, the increase in the return to cognitive skills between 1978 and 1986 accounts for all of the increase in the wage premium associated with postsecondary education. The authors also show that high school seniors' mastery of basic cognitive skills had a much smaller impact on wages two years after graduation than on wages six years after graduation. Copyright 1995 by MIT Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Review of Economics & Statistics.

Volume (Year): 77 (1995)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 251-66

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:77:y:1995:i:2:p:251-66

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

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  1. repec:fth:coluec:452 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Lee A. Lillard, 1975. "Inequality: Earnings vs. Human Wealth," NBER Working Papers 0080, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Blackburn, McKinley L & Neumark, David, 1993. "Omitted-Ability Bias and the Increase in the Return to Schooling," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(3), pages 521-44, July.
  4. Thomas J. Kane & Cecilia Rouse, 1993. "Labor Market Returns to Two- And Four-Year College: Is A Credit a Credit And Do Degrees Matter?," Working Papers, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section. 690, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  5. repec:fth:prinin:311 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Paul Osterman, 1994. "How common is workplace transformation and who adopts it?," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(2), pages 173-188, January.
  7. Bishop, John Hillman, 1989. "Is the Test Score Decline Responsible for the Productivity Growth Decline?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 178-97, March.
  8. Levy, Frank & Murnane, Richard J, 1992. "U.S. Earnings Levels and Earnings Inequality: A Review of Recent Trends and Proposed Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1333-81, September.
  9. Bound, John & Griliches, Zvi & Hall, Bronwyn H, 1986. "Wages, Schooling and IQ of Brothers and Sisters: Do the Family Factors Differ?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(1), pages 77-105, February.
  10. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-42, June.
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