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Jacob Mincer, Experience and the Distribution of Earnings

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  • Barry Chiswick

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

  • Barry Chiswick, 2003. "Jacob Mincer, Experience and the Distribution of Earnings," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 1(4), pages 343-361, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:reveho:v:1:y:2003:i:4:p:343-361
    DOI: 10.1023/B:REHO.0000004794.43782.55
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gary S. Becker, 1962. "Investment in Human Capital: A Theoretical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 1-9.
    2. Murphy, Kevin M & Welch, Finis, 1990. "Empirical Age-Earnings Profiles," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(2), pages 202-229, April.
    3. 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 76-108, Part II, .
    4. Barry R. Chiswick, 1974. "Income Inequality: Regional Analyses within a Human Capital Framework," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number chis74-1, June.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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 1141-1187, December.
    8. Haley, William J, 1973. "Human Capital: The Choice Between Investment and Income," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(5), pages 929-944, December.
    9. 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.
    10. Shoshana Grossbard-Shechtman, 2001. "The New Home Economics at Colombia and Chicago," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(3), pages 103-130.
    11. Chiswick, Barry R, 1991. "Speaking, Reading, and Earnings among Low-Skilled Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(2), pages 149-170, April.
    12. Leibowitz, Arleen S, 1976. "Years and Intensity of Schooling Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(3), pages 321-334, June.
    13. Milton Friedman & Simon Kuznets, 1954. "Income from Independent Professional Practice," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie54-1, June.
    14. 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.
    15. 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.
    16. 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.
    17. 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 34-66, Part II, .
    18. Milton Friedman, 1953. "Choice, Chance, and the Personal Distribution of Income," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61, pages 277-277.
    19. Chiswick, Carmel U & Lehrer, Evelyn L, 1990. "On Marriage-Specific Human Capital: Its Role as a Determinant of Remarriage," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 3(3), pages 193-213, October.
    20. 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.
    21. Jacob Mincer, 1958. "Investment in Human Capital and Personal Income Distribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 281-281.
    22. 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 658-662, November.
    23. Barry R. Chiswick, 1988. "Differences in Education and Earnings Across Racial and Ethnic Groups: Tastes, Discrimination, and Investments in Child Quality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(3), pages 571-597.
    24. Sherwin Rosen, 1992. "Distinguished Fellow: Mincering Labor Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 157-170, Spring.
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    Cited by:

    1. Monojit Chatterji & Karen Mumford & Peter Smith, 2011. "The public-private sector gender wage differential in Britain: evidence from matched employee-workplace data," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(26), pages 3819-3833.
    2. Karen Mumford & Peter N Smith, "undated". "The Gender Earnings Gap in Britain," Discussion Papers 04/05, Department of Economics, University of York.
    3. Almeida-Santos, Filipe & Mumford, Karen A., 2006. "Employee Training, Wage Dispersion and Equality in Britain," IZA Discussion Papers 2276, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Anuneeta Mitra, 2016. "Education and earning linkages of regular and casual workers in India: a quantile regression approach," Journal of Social and Economic Development, Springer;Institute for Social and Economic Change, vol. 18(1), pages 147-174, October.
    5. Chiswick, Barry R. & Miller, Paul W., 2008. "Why is the payoff to schooling smaller for immigrants?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 1317-1340, December.
    6. Alejos, Luis Alejandro, 2006. "La elección del sector laboral y los retornos a la educación en Guatemala
      [Labour Sector Choice and the Returns to Education in Guatemala]
      ," MPRA Paper 42756, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Filipe Almeida-Santos & Yekaterina Chzhen & Karen Mumford, 2010. "Employee training and wage dispersion: white- and blue-collar workers in Britain," Research in Labor Economics,in: Jobs, Training, and Worker Well-being, volume 30, pages 35-60 Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    8. Alvarado, Rafael, 2012. "Wages differentials in Ecuador: A regional approach with sample selection of Heckman and Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition," MPRA Paper 37470, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Concetta, MENDOLICCHIO, 2006. "A Disaggregate Analysis of Private Returns to Education in Italy," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2006054, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
    10. Karina Mahirda & Heni Wahyuni, 2016. "Returning To General And Vocational High-Schools In Indonesia," Review of Economic and Business Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, issue 18, pages 9-28, December.
    11. Christian Hundt & Rolf Sternberg, 2016. "Explaining new firm creation in Europe from a spatial and time perspective: A multilevel analysis based upon data of individuals, regions and countries," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95(2), pages 223-257, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    human capital; labor market experience; earnings; income distribution; Jacob Mincer;

    JEL classification:

    • B21 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Microeconomics
    • 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
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution

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