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Jacob Mincer, Experience and the Distribution of Earnings

  • Barry Chiswick

This paper reviews Jacob Mincer's contributions to the analyses of earnings and the distribution of earnings through his pioneering focus on labor market experience or on-the-job training. It begins with a brief discussion of the theoretical literature on the distribution of earnings in the pre-Mincer period, and then discusses his analysis of human capital and earnings developed in his 1957 doctoral dissertation and 1958 Journal of Political Economy (JPE) article. Further analyses of on-the-job training, and in particular estimates of the rate of return from on-the-job training, are presented in his 1962 JPE paper. The synergy between Mincer and Becker during the 1960s is discussed, as is the development of the schooling-earnings function by Gary S. Becker and Barry R. Chiswick (1966). Jacob Mincer extended this relationship by incorporating experience to form the “human capital earnings function” in his Schooling, Experience and Earnings (1974). Subsequent modifications, extensions, tests of robustness and the wide applicability of the human capital earnings function are presented. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Review of Economics of the Household.

Volume (Year): 1 (2003)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 343-361

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Handle: RePEc:kap:reveho:v:1:y:2003:i:4:p:343-361
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  1. James J. Heckman & Lance J. Lochner & Petra E. Todd, 2003. "Fifty Years of Mincer Earnings Regressions," NBER Working Papers 9732, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Mincer, Jacob & Polachek, Solomon, 1974. "Family Investment in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages S76-S108, Part II, .
  3. Milton Friedman, 1953. "Choice, Chance, and the Personal Distribution of Income," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61, pages 277.
  4. Chiswick, Carmel U, 1983. "Analysis of Earnings from Household Enterprises: Methodology and Application to Thailand," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(4), pages 658-62, November.
  5. James Heckman & Edward Vytlacil, 1998. "Instrumental Variables Methods for the Correlated Random Coefficient Model: Estimating the Average Rate of Return to Schooling When the Return is Correlated with Schooling," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(4), pages 974-987.
  6. Chiswick, Barry R, 1978. "The Effect of Americanization on the Earnings of Foreign-born Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 897-921, October.
  7. George Psacharopoulos & Harry Anthony Patrinos, 2004. "Returns to investment in education: a further update," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(2), pages 111-134.
  8. Shoshana Grossbard-Shechtman, 2001. "The New Home Economics at Colombia and Chicago," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(3), pages 103-130.
  9. Barry R. Chiswick, 1974. "Income Inequality: Regional Analyses within a Human Capital Framework," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number chis74-1.
  10. Mincer, Jacob, 1970. "The Distribution of Labor Incomes: A Survey with Special Reference to the Human Capital Approach," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 1-26, March.
  11. Chiswick, Carmel U & Lehrer, Evelyn L, 1990. "On Marriage-Specific Human Capital: Its Role as a Determinant of Remarriage," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 193-213, October.
  12. Haley, William J, 1973. "Human Capital: The Choice Between Investment and Income," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(5), pages 929-44, December.
  13. Chiswick, Barry R, 1988. "Differences in Education and Earnings across Racial and Ethnic Groups: Tastes, Discrimination, and Investments in Child Quality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(3), pages 571-97, August.
  14. Jacob Mincer & Solomon Polacheck, 1974. "Family Investments in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," NBER Chapters, in: Economics of the Family: Marriage, Children, and Human Capital, pages 397-431 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Jacob Mincer, 1958. "Investment in Human Capital and Personal Income Distribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 281.
  16. 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.
  17. Barry Chiswick, 1970. "An Interregional Analysis of Schooling and the Skewness of Income," NBER Chapters, in: Education, Income, and Human Capital, pages 157-191 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Chiswick, Barry R & Mincer, Jacob, 1972. "Time-Series Changes in Personal Income Inequality in the United States from 1939, with Projections to 1985," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(3), pages S34-S66, Part II, .
  19. Gary S. Becker, 1962. "Investment in Human Capital: A Theoretical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 9.
  20. Becker, Gary S & Landes, Elisabeth M & Michael, Robert T, 1977. "An Economic Analysis of Marital Instability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(6), pages 1141-87, December.
  21. Chiswick, Barry R, 1991. "Speaking, Reading, and Earnings among Low-Skilled Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(2), pages 149-70, April.
  22. Leibowitz, Arleen S, 1976. "Years and Intensity of Schooling Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(3), pages 321-34, June.
  23. Murphy, Kevin M & Welch, Finis, 1990. "Empirical Age-Earnings Profiles," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(2), pages 202-29, April.
  24. Sherwin Rosen, 1992. "Distinguished Fellow: Mincering Labor Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 157-170, Spring.
  25. Milton Friedman & Simon Kuznets, 1954. "Income from Independent Professional Practice," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie54-1.
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