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Wage and test score dispersion: some international evidence

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  • Bedard, Kelly
  • Ferrall, Christopher

Abstract

This paper includes fifty observations on wage distributions across eleven countries and two age cohorts defined by international mathematics tests given to thirteen-year-olds in 1962 and 1982. It is found that wage dispersion later in life is never greater than test score dispersion. In particular, Lorenz curves for a cohorts wages always lie above or on top of the cohorts test score Lorenz curve. Wage dispersion, as summarized by Gini coefficients, is significantly related to test score dispersion and union density in the country. A general fall in test score dispersion between 1962 and 1982 appears to be reflected in reduced wage dispersion. For three countries with available data (the U.S., the U. K., and Japan), evidence of skill-based changes in wage dispersion between the early 1970s and the late 1980s is found.
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Suggested Citation

  • Bedard, Kelly & Ferrall, Christopher, 2003. "Wage and test score dispersion: some international evidence," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 31-43, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:22:y:2003:i:1:p:31-43
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    8. Adaiah Lilenstein, 2018. "Integrating Indicators of Education Quantity and Quality in Six Francophone African Countries," Working Papers 09/2018, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    9. Balcazar, Carlos Felipe & Narayan, Ambar & Tiwari, Sailesh, 2015. "Born with a silver spoon : inequality in educational achievement across the world," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7152, The World Bank.
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    12. Das, Jishnu & Zajonc, Tristan, 2010. "India shining and Bharat drowning: Comparing two Indian states to the worldwide distribution in mathematics achievement," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 175-187, July.
    13. David Jesuit & Douglas Roscoe & Vincent Mahler, 1997. "Exploring the Impact of Trade and Investment on Income Inequality: A Cross-National Sectoral Analysis of the Developed Market Economy Countries," LIS Working papers 159, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    14. Lorenzo Cappellari & Paolo Castelnovo & Daniele Checchi & Marco Leonardi, 2017. "Skilled or Educated? Educational Reforms, Human Capital, and Earnings," Research in Labor Economics, in: Solomon W. Polachek & Konstantinos Pouliakas & Giovanni Russo & Konstantinos Tatsiramos (ed.), Skill Mismatch in Labor Markets, volume 45, pages 173-197, Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    15. Hadia Majid & Rashid Memon, 2016. "Group inequality and regional development: Evidence from Pakistan," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2016-151, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    16. Micklewright, John & Schnepf, Sylke V., 2006. "Inequality of Learning in Industrialised Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 2517, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    17. Rose, Heather, 2006. "Do gains in test scores explain labor market outcomes?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 430-446, August.
    18. Lire Ersado & Jérémie Gignoux, 2014. "Inequality of Educational Opportunities in Egypt," PSE Working Papers halshs-01064510, HAL.
    19. Adaiah Lilenstein, 2020. "Better measures of progress: Developing reliable estimates of educational access and quality in Francophone sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers 13/2020, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    20. Peter Kuhn, 1998. "The Declining Labour Market Outcomes of the Less Skilled: Can Fiscal Policy Make a Difference?," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 24(3), pages 370-377, September.
    21. Salverda, Wiemer & Checchi, Daniele, 2014. "Labour-Market Institutions and the Dispersion of Wage Earnings," IZA Discussion Papers 8220, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    22. Checchi, Daniele & van de Werfhorst, Herman Gerbert, 2017. "Policies, Skills and Earnings: How Educational Inequality Affects Earnings Inequality," SocArXiv wn3h2, Center for Open Science.
    23. Checchi, Daniele & van de Werfhorst, Herman G., 2014. "Educational Policies and Income Inequality," IZA Discussion Papers 8222, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    24. Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Jérémie Gignoux, 2014. "The Measurement of Educational Inequality: Achievement and Opportunity," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 28(2), pages 210-246.

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