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Can Falling Supply Explain the Rising Return to College for Younger Men? A Cohort-Based Analysis

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  • David Card
  • Thomas Lemieux

Abstract

Although the college-high school wage gap for younger U. S. men has doubled over the past 30 years, the gap for older men has remained nearly constant. In the United Kingdom and Canada the college-high school wage gap also increased for younger relative to older men. Using a model with imperfect substitution between similarly educated workers in different age groups, we argue that these shifts reflect changes in the relative supply of highly educated workers across age groups. The driving force behind these changes is the slowdown in the rate of growth of educational attainment that began with cohorts born in the early 1950s in all three countries.

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  • David Card & Thomas Lemieux, 2001. "Can Falling Supply Explain the Rising Return to College for Younger Men? A Cohort-Based Analysis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 705-746.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:116:y:2001:i:2:p:705-746.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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