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Ability, Educational Ranks, and Labor Market Trends: The Effects of Shifts in the Skill Composition of Educational Groups

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  • Dan T. Rosenbaum

Abstract

Large increases in educational attainment have resulted in dramatic shifts in the composition of educational groups. Utilizing the 1960-1990 Decennial Census and other data sources, I account for these changes in composition using educational ranks-cohort-specific relative rankings in educational attainment. For native white males, between 1969 and 1989 accounting for changes in the composition of educational groups (1) explains about half of the increase in the college/high school weekly earnings differential, (2) results in increases in weekly earnings for the less educated, and (3) doubles the increases in experience differentials for the high school graduates that are less educated. These findings raise questions about the common research strategy of using educational groups as a proxy for skill groups over long periods of time.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research in its series JCPR Working Papers with number 146.

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Date of creation: 28 Jan 2000
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Handle: RePEc:wop:jopovw:146

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Cited by:
  1. Norman Ireland & Robin A. Naylor & Jeremy Smith & Shqiponja Telhaj, 2009. "Educational Returns, Ability Composition and Cohort Effects: Theory and Evidence for Cohorts of Early-Career UK Graduates," CEP Discussion Papers dp0939, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. Charles A. Fleischman & Joshua Gallin, 2001. "Employment persistence," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-25, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Román Andrés Zárate, 2012. "Peer Effects, Cooperation and Competition in Human Capital Formation," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 009795, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  4. Chinhui Juhn & Dae Il Kim & Francis Vella, 2005. "The Expansion of College Education in the United States: Is There Evidence of Declining Cohort Quality?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(2), pages 303-315, April.
  5. Robert I. Lerman, 1999. "U.S. Wage-Inequality Trends and Recent Immigration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 23-28, May.
  6. Gregory Kurtzon, 2012. "Ability Composition Effects on the Education Premium," Working Papers 456, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  7. Blom, Andreas & Holm-Nielsen, Lauritz & Verner, Dorte, 2001. "Education, earnings, and inequality in Brazil, 1982-98 - implications for education policy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2686, The World Bank.
  8. David Card & Thomas Lemieux, 2000. "Can Falling Supply Explain the Rising Return to College for Younger Men? A Cohort-Based Analysis," NBER Working Papers 7655, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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