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Student abilities during the expansion of US education

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  • Hendricks, Lutz
  • Schoellman, Todd

Abstract

The US experienced two dramatic changes in the structure of education in a 50 year period. The first was a large expansion of educational attainment; the second, an increase in test score gaps between college-bound and non-college-bound students. This paper documents the impact of these two trends on the composition of school groups by ability and the importance of these composition effects for wages. The main finding is that there is a growing gap between the abilities of high school and college-educated workers that accounts for one-half of the college wage premium for recent cohorts and for the entire rise of the college wage premium between the 1910 and 1960 birth cohorts.

Suggested Citation

  • Hendricks, Lutz & Schoellman, Todd, 2014. "Student abilities during the expansion of US education," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 19-36.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:63:y:2014:i:c:p:19-36
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jmoneco.2014.01.008
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    Cited by:

    1. Guido Matías Cortés & Manuel Hidalgo-Pérez, 2015. "Changes in the Return to Skills and the Variance of Unobserved Ability," Working Papers 15.15, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.
    2. Sang Yoon Lee & Yongseok Shin & Donghoon Lee, 2015. "The Option Value of Human Capital: Higher Education and Wage Inequality," NBER Working Papers 21724, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. repec:red:issued:17-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Michelle Petersen Rendall & Andrew Rendall, 2018. "Math Matters: Education Choices and Wage Inequality," 2018 Meeting Papers 654, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Guillaume Vandenbroucke & B Ravikumar & Yu-Chien Kong, 2015. "Explaining Cross-Cohort Di fferences in Life Cycle Earnings," 2015 Meeting Papers 1409, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. Kartik Athreya & Felicia Ionescu & Ivan Vidangos & Urvi Neelakantan, 2018. "Investment Opportunities and Economic Outcomes: Who Benefits From College and the Stock Market?," 2018 Meeting Papers 1151, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. John Bailey Jones & Fang Yang, 2016. "Skill-Biased Technical Change and the Cost of Higher Education," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(3), pages 621-662.
    8. Hendricks, Lutz & Leukhina, Oksana, 2014. "The return to college: Selection and dropout risk," CFS Working Paper Series 487, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    9. Michelle Rendall & Andrew Rendall, 2013. "Math Matters: Student Ability, College Majors, and Wage Inequality," 2013 Meeting Papers 1196, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    10. Findeisen, Sebastian & Sachs, Dominik, 2016. "Education and optimal dynamic taxation: The role of income-contingent student loans," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 138(C), pages 1-21.
    11. Giuseppe Croce, 2016. "La rincorsa mancata. Istruzione e cambiamento tecnologico in Italia a confronto con le altre economie avanzate," QUADERNI DI ECONOMIA DEL LAVORO, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2016(106), pages 77-99.
    12. Lutz Hendricks & Christopher Herrington & Todd Schoellman, 2016. "The Changing Roles of Family Income and Academic Ability for US College Attendance," Working Papers 1602, VCU School of Business, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2017.
    13. Kevin Donovan & Christopher Herrington, . "Factors Affecting College Attainment and Student Ability in the U.S. since 1900," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics.
    14. Hendricks, Lutz, 2016. "Accounting for changing returns to experience," CFS Working Paper Series 558, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    15. Bowlus, Audra J. & Mori, Hiroaki & Robinson, Chris, 2016. "Ageing and the skill portfolio: Evidence from job based skill measures," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 7(C), pages 89-103.
    16. Todd Schoellman & Christopher Herrington & Lutz Hendricks, 2015. "Family Background, Academic Ability, and College Decisions in the 20th Century U.S," 2015 Meeting Papers 465, Society for Economic Dynamics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Education; Ability; Skill premium;

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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