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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. Haley, William J, 1976. "Estimation of the Earnings Profile from Optimal Human Capital Accumulation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(6), pages 1223-38, November.
  2. Martin Browning & Lars Peter Hansen & James J. Heckman, 1999. "Micro Data and General Equilibrium Models," Discussion Papers 99-10, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  3. 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.
  4. Mark Hugget & Gustavo Ventura & Amir Yaron, 2002. "Human Capital and Earnings Distribution Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 9366, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. Rosen, Sherwin, 1976. "A Theory of Life Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages S45-67, August.
  7. 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.
  8. James J. Heckman & Lance Lochner & Christopher Taber, 1998. "Explaining Rising Wage Inequality: Explorations with a Dynamic General Equilibrium Model of Labor Earnings with Heterogeneous Agents," NBER Working Papers 6384, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  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. Fatih Guvenen, 2006. "Learning your earning: are labor income shocks really very persistent?," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 145, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  12. James J. Heckman & Lance Lochner & Christopher Taber, 1998. "Tax Policy and Human Capital Formation," NBER Working Papers 6462, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Blinder, Alan S & Weiss, Yoram, 1976. "Human Capital and Labor Supply: A Synthesis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(3), pages 449-72, June.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
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