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The Growing Importance of Cognitive Skills in Wage Determination

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  • Murnane, Richard J
  • Willett, John B
  • Levy, Frank

Abstract

Using data from two longitudinal surveys of American high school seniors, the authors show that basic cognitive skills had a larger impact on wages for twenty-four-year-old men and women in 1986 than in 1978. For women, the increase in the return to cognitive skills between 1978 and 1986 accounts for all of the increase in the wage premium associated with postsecondary education. The authors also show that high school seniors' mastery of basic cognitive skills had a much smaller impact on wages two years after graduation than on wages six years after graduation. Copyright 1995 by MIT Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Murnane, Richard J & Willett, John B & Levy, Frank, 1995. "The Growing Importance of Cognitive Skills in Wage Determination," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(2), pages 251-266, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:77:y:1995:i:2:p:251-66
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs

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