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Changes in the Appalachian Wage Gap, 1970 to 2000

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  • Robert Baumann

Abstract

Since at least 1960, Appalachians have lower wages, employment rates, and educational attainment than residents elsewhere in the country. Despite educational gains and large federal outlays since 1965, the wage gap has only slightly decreased. Using a sample of full-time workers from the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series Census project, I identify factors affecting the wage gap between 1970 and 2000. I find several national trends unfavorable to Appalachians after 1980: increasing returns to both observable and unobservable skill, rising income inequality, and the decline of manufacturing, which offset faster Appalachian education growth. There is also a growing gap in education returns between Appalachia and elsewhere in the country since 1980.

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File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1468-2257.2006.00330.x
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 0502.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Growth and Change, September 2006, Vol. 37:3, pp. 419-443.
Handle: RePEc:hcx:wpaper:0502

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Keywords: Appalachia; wage decomposition; poverty; skill differential;

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  1. 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, vol. 101(3), pages 410-42, June.
  2. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
  3. David Neumark, 1988. "Employers' Discriminatory Behavior and the Estimation of Wage Discrimination," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(3), pages 279-295.
  4. Trejo, Stephen J, 1997. "Why Do Mexican Americans Earn Low Wages?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1235-68, December.
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