IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/aecrev/v101y2011i6p2309-49.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Trends in Quality-Adjusted Skill Premia in the United States, 1960-2000

Author

Listed:
  • Pedro Carneiro
  • Sokbae Lee

Abstract

This paper presents new evidence that increases in college enrollment lead to a decline in the average quality of college graduates between 1960 and 2000, resulting in a decrease of 6 percentage points in the college premium. A standard demand and supply framework can qualitatively account for the trend in the college and age premia over this period, but substantial quantitative adjustments are needed to account for changes in quality. (JEL I23, J24, J31)

Suggested Citation

  • Pedro Carneiro & Sokbae Lee, 2011. "Trends in Quality-Adjusted Skill Premia in the United States, 1960-2000," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2309-2349, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:101:y:2011:i:6:p:2309-49
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.101.6.2309
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/oct2011/20070899_data.zip
    File Function: dataset accompanying article
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gordon B. Dahl, 2002. "Mobility and the Return to Education: Testing a Roy Model with Multiple Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(6), pages 2367-2420, November.
    2. Deschenes, Olivier, 2007. "Estimating the Effects of Family Background on the Return to Schooling," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 25, pages 265-277, July.
    3. Richard Blundell & Howard Reed & Thomas M. Stoker, 2003. "Interpreting Aggregate Wage Growth: The Role of Labor Market Participation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1114-1131, September.
    4. Amitabh Chandra, 2003. "Is the Convergence of the Racial Wage Gap Illusory?," NBER Working Papers 9476, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Willis, Robert J & Rosen, Sherwin, 1979. "Education and Self-Selection," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 7-36, October.
    6. Groen, J.A.Jeffrey A., 2004. "The effect of college location on migration of college-educated labor," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 125-142.
    7. Richard Blundell & Amanda Gosling & Hidehiko Ichimura & Costas Meghir, 2007. "Changes in the Distribution of Male and Female Wages Accounting for Employment Composition Using Bounds," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(2), pages 323-363, March.
    8. 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.
    9. Claudia Olivetti & Barbara Petrongolo, 2008. "Unequal Pay or Unequal Employment? A Cross-Country Analysis of Gender Gaps," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(4), pages 621-654, October.
    10. Daron Acemoglu & David H. Autor & David Lyle, 2004. "Women, War, and Wages: The Effect of Female Labor Supply on the Wage Structure at Midcentury," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(3), pages 497-551, June.
    11. Chay, Kenneth Y. & Lee, David S., 2000. "Changes in relative wages in the 1980s Returns to observed and unobserved skills and black-white wage differentials," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 1-38, November.
    12. Keane, Michael & Moffitt, Robert & Runkle, David, 1988. "Real Wages over the Business Cycle: Estimating the Impact of Heterogeneity with Micro Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(6), pages 1232-1266, December.
    13. Christopher R. Taber, 2001. "The Rising College Premium in the Eighties: Return to College or Return to Unobserved Ability?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(3), pages 665-691.
    14. David Card & Thomas Lemieux, 2001. "Can Falling Supply Explain the Rising Return to College for Younger Men? A Cohort-Based Analysis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 705-746.
    15. Pedro Carneiro & James J. Heckman & Edward J. Vytlacil, 2011. "Estimating Marginal Returns to Education," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2754-2781, October.
    16. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1992. "Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Public Schools in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 1-40, February.
    17. Amanda Gosling & Stephen Machin & Costas Meghir, 2000. "The Changing Distribution of Male Wages in the U.K," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(4), pages 635-666.
    18. Robert Moffitt, 2008. "Estimating Marginal Treatment Effects in Heterogeneous Populations," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 91-92, pages 239-261.
    19. Bishop, John Hillman, 1989. "Is the Test Score Decline Responsible for the Productivity Growth Decline?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 178-197, March.
    20. Daron Acemoglu, 2002. "Technical Change, Inequality, and the Labor Market," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(1), pages 7-72, March.
    21. repec:adr:anecst:y:2008:i:91-92:p:12 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Murnane, Richard J & Willett, John B & Levy, Frank, 1995. "The Growing Importance of Cognitive Skills in Wage Determination," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(2), pages 251-266, May.
    23. Thomas Lemieux, 2006. "Increasing Residual Wage Inequality: Composition Effects, Noisy Data, or Rising Demand for Skill?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 461-498, June.
    24. Lee, Lung-Fei, 1983. "Generalized Econometric Models with Selectivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(2), pages 507-512, March.
    25. Bound, John & Groen, Jeffrey & Kezdi, G.Gabor & Turner, Sarah, 2004. "Trade in university training: cross-state variation in the production and stock of college-educated labor," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 143-173.
    26. Nicole M. Fortin, 2006. "Higher-Education Policies and the College Wage Premium: Cross-State Evidence from the 1990s," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 959-987, September.
    27. 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.
    28. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2000. "Ability-Biased Technological Transition, Wage Inequality, and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 469-497.
    29. Derek Neal, 2004. "The Measured Black-White Wage Gap among Women Is Too Small," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(S1), pages 1-28, February.
    30. Caroline M. Hoxby & Bridget Terry, 1999. "Explaining Rising Income and wage Inequality Among the College Educated," NBER Working Papers 6873, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    31. Casey B. Mulligan & Yona Rubinstein, 2008. "Selection, Investment, and Women's Relative Wages Over Time," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(3), pages 1061-1110.
    32. Fuss, Melvyn & McFadden, Daniel (ed.), 1978. "Production Economics: A Dual Approach to Theory and Applications," Elsevier Monographs, Elsevier, edition 1, number 9780444850133.
    33. Meghir, Costas & Whitehouse, Edward, 1996. "The Evolution of Wages in the United Kingdom: Evidence from Micro Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(1), pages 1-25, January.
    34. Heckman, James J & Sedlacek, Guilherme, 1985. "Heterogeneity, Aggregation, and Market Wage Functions: An Empirical Model of Self-selection in the Labor Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(6), pages 1077-1125, December.
    35. Diamond, Peter & McFadden, Daniel & Rodriguez, Miguel, 1978. "Measurement of the Elasticity of Factor Substitution and Bias of Technical Change," Histoy of Economic Thought Chapters, in: Fuss, Melvyn & McFadden, Daniel (ed.),Production Economics: A Dual Approach to Theory and Applications, volume 2, chapter 5, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought.
    36. 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 410-442, June.
    37. Heckman, James & Layne-Farrar, Anne & Todd, Petra, 1996. "Human Capital Pricing Equations with an Application to Estimating the Effect of Schooling Quality on Earnings," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(4), pages 562-610, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Pedro Carneiro & Sokbae (Simon) Lee, 2005. "Ability, sorting and wage inequality," CeMMAP working papers CWP16/05, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    2. Angel de la Fuente & Antonio Ciccone, 2003. "Human capital in a global and knowledge-based economy," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 562.03, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
    3. Manuel Arellano & Stéphane Bonhomme, 2017. "Quantile Selection Models With an Application to Understanding Changes in Wage Inequality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 85, pages 1-28, January.
    4. Zsófia L. Bárány, 2016. "The Minimum Wage and Inequality: The Effects of Education and Technology," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(1), pages 237-274.
    5. Lance Lochner & Youngki Shin, 2014. "Understanding Earnings Dynamics: Identifying and Estimating the Changing Roles of Unobserved Ability, Permanent and Transitory Shocks," NBER Working Papers 20068, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Christopher Bollinger & James P. Ziliak & Kenneth R. Troske, 2011. "Down from the Mountain: Skill Upgrading and Wages in Appalachia," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(4), pages 819-857.
    7. Fortin, Nicole & Lemieux, Thomas & Firpo, Sergio, 2011. "Decomposition Methods in Economics," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 1, pages 1-102, Elsevier.
    8. Seonho Shin, 2022. "To work or not? Wages or subsidies?: Copula-based evidence of subsidized refugees’ negative selection into employment," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 63(4), pages 2209-2252, October.
    9. Hendricks, Lutz & Schoellman, Todd, 2014. "Student abilities during the expansion of US education," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 19-36.
    10. Nicole M. Fortin, 2006. "Higher-Education Policies and the College Wage Premium: Cross-State Evidence from the 1990s," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 959-987, September.
    11. Nicholas W Papageorge & Kevin Thom, 2020. "Genes, Education, and Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 1351-1399.
    12. Keng, Shao-Hsun & Lin, Chun-Hung & Orazem, Peter F., 2017. "Expanding College Access in Taiwan, 1978–2014: Effects on Graduate Quality and Income Inequality," ISU General Staff Papers 201704010700001784, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    13. Eric A. Hanushek & Jens Ruhose & Ludger Woessmann, 2015. "Human Capital Quality and Aggregate Income Differences: Development Accounting for U.S. States," CESifo Working Paper Series 5411, CESifo.
    14. Eric A. Hanushek & Jens Ruhose & Ludger Woessmann, 2017. "Knowledge Capital and Aggregate Income Differences: Development Accounting for US States," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 184-224, October.
    15. Zsofia Barany, 2016. "The Minimum Wage and Inequality: The Effects of Education and Technology," Post-Print hal-03594158, HAL.
    16. Christian Dustmann & Johannes Ludsteck & Uta Schönberg, 2009. "Revisiting the German Wage Structure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 843-881.
    17. Zsofia Barany, 2016. "The Minimum Wage and Inequality: The Effects of Education and Technology," SciencePo Working papers hal-03594158, HAL.
    18. Brüll, Eduard & Gathmann, Christina, 2020. "Evolution of the East German wage structure," ZEW Discussion Papers 20-081, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    19. Gould, Eric D., 2005. "Inequality and ability," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 169-189, April.
    20. Jean-Marc Robin & Costas Meghir & Christian Dustmann & Jerome Adda, 2013. "Career Progression, Economic Downturns, and Skills," 2013 Meeting Papers 993, Society for Economic Dynamics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General

    Lists

    This item is featured on the following reading lists, Wikipedia, or ReplicationWiki pages:
    1. Trends in Quality-Adjusted Skill Premia in the United States, 1960-2000 (AER 2011) in ReplicationWiki

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:101:y:2011:i:6:p:2309-49. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Michael P. Albert (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.