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Training and Lifetime Income

  • Burhanettin Kuruscu

This paper challenges the notion that on-the-job training investments are quantitatively important for workers' welfare and argues that on-the-job training may not increase lifetime income by more than 1 percent. I argue that it is very difficult to reconcile the slowdown in wage growth late in a worker's career with optimizing behavior unless the technology for learning on the job is such that it generates very low gains from training. The analysis is based on a nonparametric methodology for estimating the learning technology from wage profiles; the results are arrived at by comparing the lifetime income when the worker optimally invests in his human capital to the one where he does not make any investments. (JEL: E24, J24, J31)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.96.3.832
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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/june06_data_20030612.zip
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 96 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 832-846

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:96:y:2006:i:3:p:832-846
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.96.3.832
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  1. Fatih Guvenen, 2007. "Learning Your Earning: Are Labor Income Shocks Really Very Persistent?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 687-712, June.
  2. Browning, Martin & Hansen, Lars Peter & Heckman, James J., 1999. "Micro data and general equilibrium models," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 543-633 Elsevier.
  3. Heckman, James J, 1976. "A Life-Cycle Model of Earnings, Learning, and Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages S11-44, August.
  4. Heckman, James J & Lochner, Lance & Taber, Christopher, 1998. "Tax Policy and Human-Capital Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 293-97, May.
  5. Mark Hugget & Gustavo Ventura & Amir Yaron, 2002. "Human Capital and Earnings Distribution Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 9366, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. James Heckman & Lance Lochner & Christopher Taber, 1998. "Explaining Rising Wage Inequality: Explanations With A Dynamic General Equilibrium Model of Labor Earnings With Heterogeneous Agents," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(1), pages 1-58, January.
  7. Alan Blinder & Yoram Weiss, 1974. "Human Capital and Labor Supply: A Synthesis," Working Papers 435, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  8. Yoram Ben-Porath, 1967. "The Production of Human Capital and the Life Cycle of Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 352.
  9. Lynch, Lisa M, 1992. "Private-Sector Training and the Earnings of Young Workers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 299-312, March.
  10. Heckman, James J & Lochner, Lance & Taber, Christopher, 1998. "General-Equilibrium Treatment Effects: A Study of Tuition Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 381-86, May.
  11. Ryder, Harl E & Stafford, Frank P & Stephan, Paula E, 1976. "Labor, Leisure and Training over the Life Cycle," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 17(3), pages 651-74, October.
  12. Heathcote, Jonathan & Storesletten, Kjetil & Violante, Giovanni L, 2004. "The Cross-Sectional Implications of Rising Wage Inequality in the United States," CEPR Discussion Papers 4296, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Rosen, Sherwin, 1976. "A Theory of Life Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages S45-67, August.
  14. Haley, William J, 1976. "Estimation of the Earnings Profile from Optimal Human Capital Accumulation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(6), pages 1223-38, November.
  15. Brown, James N, 1989. "Why Do Wages Increase with Tenure? On-the-Job Training and Life-Cycle Wage Growth Observed within Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 971-91, December.
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