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Training and Lifetime Income

Author

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  • Burhanettin Kuruscu

Abstract

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)

Suggested Citation

  • Burhanettin Kuruscu, 2006. "Training and Lifetime Income," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 832-846, June.
  • 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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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Heckman, James J & Lochner, Lance & Taber, Christopher, 1998. "Tax Policy and Human-Capital Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 293-297, May.
    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. 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.
    4. Haley, William J, 1976. "Estimation of the Earnings Profile from Optimal Human Capital Accumulation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(6), pages 1223-1238, November.
    5. 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 381-386, May.
    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. 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.
    8. 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 651-674, October.
    9. Huggett, Mark & Ventura, Gustavo & Yaron, Amir, 2006. "Human capital and earnings distribution dynamics," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 265-290, March.
    10. 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 449-472, June.
    11. 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.
    12. 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 11-44, August.
    13. Rosen, Sherwin, 1976. "A Theory of Life Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages 45-67, August.
    14. 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 971-991, December.
    15. 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 352-352.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Fatih Guvenen & Burhanettin Kuruscu, 2010. "A Quantitative Analysis of the Evolution of the U.S. Wage Distribution, 1970-2000," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2009, Volume 24, pages 227-276 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. repec:zbw:rwirep:0553 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Fatih Guvenen & Burhanettin Kuruscu, 2006. "Ben-Porath meets skill-biased technical change: a theoretical analysis of rising inequality," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 144, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    4. Audra J. Bowlus & Chris Robinson, 2012. "Human Capital Prices, Productivity, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(7), pages 3483-3515, December.
    5. Rupert, Peter & Zanella, Giulio, 2015. "Revisiting wage, earnings, and hours profiles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 114-130.
    6. Johanna Wallenius, 2011. "Human Capital Accumulation and the Intertemporal Elasticity of Substitution of Labor: How Large is the Bias?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 14(4), pages 577-591, October.
    7. Görlitz, Katja & Tamm, Marcus, 2015. "The Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Returns to Voucher-Financed Training," IZA Discussion Papers 8990, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. William Peterman, 2016. "The effect of endogenous human capital accumulation on optimal taxation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 21, pages 46-71, July.
    9. Mark Huggett & Gustavo Ventura & Amir Yaron, 2011. "Sources of Lifetime Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 2923-2954, December.
    10. d'Haultfoeuille, Xavier & Maurel, Arnaud, 2009. "Inference on a Generalized Roy Model, with an Application to Schooling Decisions in France," IZA Discussion Papers 4606, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Fatih Guvenen & Burhanettin Kuruscu, 2012. "Understanding The Evolution Of The Us Wage Distribution: A Theoretical Analysis," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 482-517, May.
    12. Carl Sanders & Christopher Taber, 2012. "Life-Cycle Wage Growth and Heterogeneous Human Capital," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 4(1), pages 399-425, July.
    13. Görlitz, Katja & Tamm, Marcus, 2016. "The returns to voucher-financed training on wages, employment and job tasks," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 51-62.
    14. Keller, Elisa, 2014. "The slowdown in American educational attainment," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 252-270.
    15. Katja Görlitz & Marcus Tamm, 2015. "The Pecuniary and Non-pecuniary Returns to Voucher-financed Training," Ruhr Economic Papers 0553, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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