Generalists and Specialists, Ability and Earnings
AbstractThe comparative advantage model developed in this paper predicts generalists enjoy a higher rate of return to their overall abilities than specialists, but they must also bear a penalty due to any imbalance in abilities. The predictions are tested using test scores data from the NLSY. The results show that individuals with balanced test scores across subjects are more likely to choose jobs in managerial, sales, and clerical occupations. In these occupations, individuals with more balanced test scores receive substantially higher earnings than those with unbalanced test scores. In contrast, individuals with highly unbalanced test scores are more likely to choose jobs in professional, craft, and operator occupations, although the extent of imbalance does not significantly affect earnings in these occupations.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 200502.
Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
- J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
- J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2005-03-20 (All new papers)
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