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Decomposing the education wage gap: everything but the kitchen sink

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  • Julie L. Hotchkiss
  • Menbere Shiferaw

Abstract

This paper contributes to a large literature concerned with identifying the source of the widening wage gap between high school and college graduates by providing a comprehensive, multidimensional decomposition of wages across both time and educational status. Data from a multitude of sources are brought to bear on the question of the relative importance of labor market supply and demand factors in the determination of those wage differences. The results confirm the importance of investments in and use of technology, which has been the focus of most of the previous literature, but are also able to show that demand and supply factors played very different roles in the growing wage gaps of the 1980s and 1990s.

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File URL: http://www.frbatlanta.org/documents/pubs/wp/wp1012.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its series Working Paper with number 2010-12.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2010-12

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References

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  1. Ben Jann, 2008. "A Stata implementation of the Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition," ETH Zurich Sociology Working Papers 5, ETH Zurich, Chair of Sociology, revised 14 May 2008.
  2. Fatih Guvenen & Burhanettin Kuruscu, 2007. "A Quantitative Analysis of the Evolution of the U.S. Wage Distribution: 1970-2000," NBER Working Papers 13095, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Autor, David & Dorn, David, 2009. "Inequality and Specialization: The Growth of Low-Skill Service Jobs in the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 4290, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  5. Hirsch, Boris & König, Marion & Möller, Joachim, 2009. "Is There a Gap in the Gap? Regional Differences in the Gender Pay Gap," IZA Discussion Papers 4231, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Enrico Moretti, 2002. "Estimating the Social Return to Higher Education: Evidence From Longitudinal and Repeated Cross-Sectional Data," NBER Working Papers 9108, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2001. "The Skill Content of Recent Technological Change: An Empirical Exploration," NBER Working Papers 8337, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Peter C.B. Phillips & Joon Y. Park, 1986. "On the Formulation of Wald Tests of Nonlinear Restrictions," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 801, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  9. Christopher H. Wheeler, 2005. "Evidence on wage inequality, worker education, and technology," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 375-393.
  10. Dan Black & Natalia Kolesnikova & Lowell J. Taylor, 2007. "Earnings functions when wages and prices vary by location," Working Papers 2007-031, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  11. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2006. "The Polarization of the U.S. Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 189-194, May.
  12. Julie L. Hotchkiss & M. Melinda Pitts & Mary Beth Walker, 2010. "Assessing the impact of education and marriage on labor market exit decisions of women," Working Paper 2010-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  13. Julie L. Hotchkiss & M. Melinda Pitts & John C. Robertson, 2006. "The push-pull effects of the information technology boom and bust: insight from matched employer-employee data," Working Paper 2006-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  14. Daniel Aaronson & Daniel Sullivan, 2001. "Cross-state evidence on the relationship between unemployment and wage growth," Chicago Fed Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue May.
  15. Todd Schoellman & Lutz Hendricks, 2009. "Student Abilities During the Expansion of U.S. Education, 1950-2000," 2009 Meeting Papers 162, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  16. Timothy J. Bartik, 1991. "Who Benefits from State and Local Economic Development Policies?," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number wbsle.
  17. DuMond J.M. & Hisch, B.T. & Macpherson, D.A., 1996. "Wage Differentials Across Labor Markets and Workers: Does Cost of Living Matter?," Working Papers 1996_08_01, Department of Economics, Florida State University.
  18. Ben Jann, 2008. "The Blinder–Oaxaca decomposition for linear regression models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 8(4), pages 453-479, December.
  19. Ingram, Beth F. & Neumann, George R., 2006. "The returns to skill," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 35-59, February.
  20. Crifo, Patricia, 2008. "Skill supply and biased technical change," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 812-830, October.
  21. Barry T. Hirsch, 2005. "Why do part-time workers earn less? The role of worker and job skills," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 58(4), pages 525-551, July.
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  23. Daniel Fernandez Kranz, 2006. "Why has wage inequality increased more in the USA than in Europe? An empirical investigation of the demand and supply of skill," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(7), pages 771-788.
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Cited by:
  1. Jean-Marie Viaene & Itzhak Zilcha, 2011. "Public Funding of Higher Education," CESifo Working Paper Series 3606, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Grinstein-Weiss, Michal & Sherraden, Michael & Gale, William G. & Rohe, William M. & Schreiner, Mark & Key, Clinton, 2013. "Long-term effects of Individual Development Accounts on postsecondary education: Follow-up evidence from a randomized experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 58-68.

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