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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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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. Thomas Lemieux, 2006. "Post-Secondary Education and Increasing Wage Inequality," NBER Working Papers 12077, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Hendricks, Lutz & Schoellman, Todd, 2009. "Student Abilities During the Expansion of U.S. Education, 1950-2000," MPRA Paper 12798, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Moretti, Enrico, 2004. "Estimating the social return to higher education: evidence from longitudinal and repeated cross-sectional data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 175-212.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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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  12. Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "Income Inequality In The United States, 1913-1998," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 1-39, February.
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  16. Crifo, Patricia, 2008. "Skill supply and biased technical change," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 812-830, October.
  17. Fatih Guvenen & Burhanettin Kuruscu, 2010. "A Quantitative Analysis of the Evolution of the U.S. Wage Distribution, 1970-2000," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2009, Volume 24, pages 227-276 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. 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.
  19. David Card & John E. DiNardo, 2002. "Skill-Biased Technological Change and Rising Wage Inequality: Some Problems and Puzzles," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(4), pages 733-783, October.
  20. Mariassunta Giannetti, 2001. "Skill Complementarities and Migration Decisions," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 15(1), pages 1-31, 03.
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  22. Robert H. Topel, 1997. "Factor Proportions and Relative Wages: The Supply-Side Determinants of Wage Inequality," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 55-74, Spring.
  23. Ben Jann, 2008. "The Blinder–Oaxaca decomposition for linear regression models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 8(4), pages 453-479, December.
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  25. 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.
  26. 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. Viaene, Jean-Marie & Zilcha, Itzhak, 2013. "Public funding of higher education," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 78-89.
  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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