IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/aejapp/v2y2010i4p76-104.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Beyond Signaling and Human Capital: Education and the Revelation of Ability

Author

Listed:
  • Peter Arcidiacono
  • Patrick Bayer
  • Aurel Hizmo

Abstract

We provide evidence that college graduation plays a direct role in revealing ability to the labor market. Using the NLSY79, our results suggest that ability is observed nearly perfectly for college graduates, but is revealed to the labor market more gradually for high school graduates. Consequently, from the beginning of their careers, college graduates are paid in accordance with their own ability, while the wages of high school graduates are initially unrelated to their own ability. This view of ability revelation in the labor market has considerable power in explaining racial differences in wages, education, and returns to ability. (JEL D82, I21, I23, J24, J31)

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Arcidiacono & Patrick Bayer & Aurel Hizmo, 2010. "Beyond Signaling and Human Capital: Education and the Revelation of Ability," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 76-104, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:2:y:2010:i:4:p:76-104
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.2.4.76
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/app.2.4.76
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aej/app/data/2009-0106_data.zip
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aej/app/app/2009-0106_app.pdf
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Galindo-Rueda, Fernando, 2003. "Employer learning and schooling-related statistical discrimination in Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19491, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Hanming Fang, 2006. "Disentangling The College Wage Premium: Estimating A Model With Endogenous Education Choices," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1151-1185, November.
    3. Ashenfelter, Orley & Krueger, Alan B, 1994. "Estimates of the Economic Returns to Schooling from a New Sample of Twins," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1157-1173, December.
    4. Peter Arcidiacono & Patrick Bayer & Aurel Hizmo, 2010. "Beyond Signaling and Human Capital: Education and the Revelation of Ability," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 76-104, October.
    5. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number minc74-1.
    6. Lang, Kevin, 1994. "Does the Human-Capital/Educational-Sorting Debate Matter for Development Policy?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 353-358, March.
    7. Bauer, Thomas K. & Haisken-DeNew, John P., 2001. "Employer learning and the returns to schooling," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 161-180, May.
    8. David Bjerk, 2007. "The Differing Nature of Black-White Wage Inequality Across Occupational Sectors," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(2).
    9. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Introduction to "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings"," NBER Chapters, in: Schooling, Experience, and Earnings, pages 1-4, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Julian R. Betts & Darlene Morell, 1999. "The Determinants of Undergraduate Grade Point Average: The Relative Importance of Family Background, High School Resources, and Peer Group Effects," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(2), pages 268-293.
    11. 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.
    12. Peter Arcidiacono, 2005. "Affirmative Action in Higher Education: How Do Admission and Financial Aid Rules Affect Future Earnings?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(5), pages 1477-1524, September.
    13. Bishop, John H. & Mane, Ferran, 2001. "The impacts of minimum competency exam graduation requirements on high school graduation, college attendance and early labor market success," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 203-222, May.
    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. Theodore Koutmeridis, 2013. "The Market for "Rough Diamonds": Information, Finance and Wage Inequality," CDMA Working Paper Series 201307, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis, revised 14 Oct 2013.
    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. Light, Audrey & McGee, Andrew, 2015. "Does employer learning vary by schooling attainment? The answer depends on how career start dates are defined," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 57-66.
    4. Khan, Bilal Muhammad, 2019. "Education Occupation Mismatch in Developing countries," MPRA Paper 92324, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. repec:zbw:rwirep:0352 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Ge, Suqin, 2013. "Estimating the returns to schooling: Implications from a dynamic discrete choice model," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 92-105.
    7. Piopiunik, Marc & Schwerdt, Guido & Woessmann, Ludger, 2013. "Central school exit exams and labor-market outcomes," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 93-108.
    8. Thomas Lemieux, 2014. "Occupations, fields of study and returns to education," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1047-1077, November.
    9. Berger, Johannes & Strohner, Ludwig, 2020. "Documentation of the PUblic Policy Model for Austria and other European countries (PUMA)," Research Papers 11, EcoAustria – Institute for Economic Research.
    10. Hazrul Shahiri & Kihong Park, 2018. "Ethnic group returns to education during the early post†colonial period in Malaysia," Asian-Pacific Economic Literature, Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government, The Australian National University, vol. 32(1), pages 120-130, May.
    11. Muhammad Nauman Malik & Masood Sarwar Awan, 2016. "Analysing Econometric Bias and Non-linearity in Returns to Education of Pakistan," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 55(4), pages 837-851.
    12. Pablo Lavado & Nelson Oviedo & Hernán Ruffo, 2016. "Destruction of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skills in Adulthood," Working Papers 16-07, Centro de Investigación, Universidad del Pacífico.
    13. Pham, Thai-Hung & Reilly, Barry, 2007. "The gender pay gap in Vietnam, 1993-2002: A quantile regression approach," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 775-808, October.
    14. Alvarado, Rafael & Tillaguango, Brayan & López-Sánchez, Michelle & Ponce, Pablo & Işık, Cem, 2021. "Heterogeneous impact of natural resources on income inequality: The role of the shadow economy and human capital index," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 690-704.
    15. Wang, Jun & Li, Bo, 2020. "Does employer learning with statistical discrimination exist in China? Evidence from Chinese Micro Survey Data," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 319-333.
    16. Fortin, Bernard & Ragued, Safa, 2017. "Does temporary interruption in postsecondary education induce a wage penalty? Evidence from Canada," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 108-122.
    17. Tomasz Gajderowicz & Gabriela Grotkowska & Jerzy Mycielski & Leszek Wincenciak, 2014. "Social and economic determinants of higher education choices in Poland," Ekonomia journal, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw, vol. 38.
    18. Kevin Lang & Jee-Yeon K. Lehmann, 2012. "Racial Discrimination in the Labor Market: Theory and Empirics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(4), pages 959-1006, December.
    19. Hans‐Peter Y. Qvist & Anders Holm & Martin D. Munk, 2021. "Demand and Supply Effects and Returns to College Education: Evidence from a Natural Experiment with Engineers in Denmark," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 123(2), pages 676-704, April.
    20. Annamaria Di Bartolo, 1999. "Modern Human Capital Analysis: Estimation of US, Canada and Italy Earning Functions," LIS Working papers 212, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    21. Brown, Sarah & Sessions, John G., 2006. "Evidence on the relationship between firm-based screening and the returns to education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 498-509, October.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • 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

    Lists

    This item is featured on the following reading lists, Wikipedia, or ReplicationWiki pages:
    1. Beyond Signaling and Human Capital: Education and the Revelation of Ability (American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 2010) 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:aejapp:v:2:y:2010:i:4:p:76-104. 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.