IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/wly/jpamgt/v19y2000i4p547-568.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

How important are the cognitive skills of teenagers in predicting subsequent earnings?

Author

Listed:
  • Richard J. Murnane

    (Harvard Graduate School of Education; the National Bureau of Economic Research)

  • John B. Willett

    (Harvard Graduate School of Education)

  • Yves Duhaldeborde

    (International Survey Research, London, England)

  • John H. Tyler

    (Department of Education, Brown University)

Abstract

How important are teenagers' cognitive skills in predicting subsequent labor market success? Do cognitive skills pay off in the labor market only for students who go to college? Does college benefit only students who enter with strong basic skills? These questions are often parts of current policy debates about how to improve the earnings prospects for young Americans. This paper addresses these questions using two longitudinal data sets with earnings information from the mid-1980s and early 1990s. It shows that the same evidence can be used to support the claim that cognitive skills are important determinants of subsequent earnings, and that the effect of cognitive skills is modest. It also shows that while some evidence indicates that college pays off more for students who enter with strong cognitive skills than for students who enter with weaker skills, the bulk of the evidence does not support this conclusion. © 2000 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard J. Murnane & John B. Willett & Yves Duhaldeborde & John H. Tyler, 2000. "How important are the cognitive skills of teenagers in predicting subsequent earnings?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(4), pages 547-568.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:19:y:2000:i:4:p:547-568
    DOI: 10.1002/1520-6688(200023)19:4<547::AID-PAM2>3.0.CO;2-#
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Joseph G. Altonji & Charles R. Pierret, "undated". "Employer Learning and the Signaling Value of Education," IPR working papers 96-11, Institute for Policy Resarch at Northwestern University.
    2. Katz, Lawrence F. & Autor, David H., 1999. "Changes in the wage structure and earnings inequality," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1463-1555, Elsevier.
    3. Henry S. Farber & Robert Gibbons, 1996. "Learning and Wage Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(4), pages 1007-1047.
    4. 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.
    5. Sanders Korenman & Christopher Winship, 1995. "A Reanalysis of The Bell Curve," NBER Working Papers 5230, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Murnane, Richard J. & Willett, John B. & Braatz, M. Jay & Duhaldeborde, Yves, 2001. "Do different dimensions of male high school students' skills predict labor market success a decade later? Evidence from the NLSY," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 311-320, August.
    2. Joseph G. Altonji & Charles R. Pierret, "undated". "Employer Learning and Statistical Discrimination," IPR working papers 97-18, Institute for Policy Resarch at Northwestern University.
    3. Tyler, John H., 2004. "Basic skills and the earnings of dropouts," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 221-235, June.
    4. Theodore Koutmeridis, 2013. "The Market for "Rough Diamonds": Information, Finance and Wage Inequality," CDMA Working Paper Series 201307, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis, revised 14 Oct 2013.
    5. Strulik, Holger, 2018. "The return to education in terms of wealth and health," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 12(C), pages 1-14.
    6. Ann P. Bartel & Nachum Sicherman, 1999. "Technological Change and Wages: An Interindustry Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(2), pages 285-325, April.
    7. Nicholas W Papageorge & Kevin Thom, 2020. "Genes, Education, and Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 1351-1399.
    8. Roberto Anda & Pedro Hernandez, 2007. "Literacy Skills and Earnings: Race and Gender Differences," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 34(3), pages 231-243, December.
    9. Thomas Gries & Stefan Jungblut & Tim Krieger & Henning Meyer, 2019. "Economic Retirement Age and Lifelong Learning: A Theoretical Model With Heterogeneous Labor, Biased Technical Change and International Sourcing," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 20(2), pages 129-170, May.
    10. David Brasington & Mika Kato & Willi Semmler, 2010. "Transitioning Out Of Poverty," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(1), pages 68-95, February.
    11. Angel de la Fuente & Antonio Ciccone, 2003. "Human capital in a global and knowledge-based economy," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 562.03, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
    12. Eric Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2012. "Do better schools lead to more growth? Cognitive skills, economic outcomes, and causation," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 267-321, December.
    13. Tsunao Okumura & Emiko Usui, 2016. "Intergenerational Transmission of Skills and Differences in Labor Market Outcomes for Blacks and Whites," Research in Labor Economics, in: Lorenzo Cappellari & Solomon W. Polachek & Konstantinos Tatsiramos (ed.), Inequality: Causes and Consequences, volume 43, pages 227-286, Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    14. John H. Tyler & Richard J. Murnane & John B. Willett, 2000. "Do the Cognitive Skills of School Dropouts Matter in the Labor Market?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(4), pages 748-754.
    15. Gonzalo Castex & Evgenia Kogan Dechter, 2014. "The Changing Roles of Education and Ability in Wage Determination," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(4), pages 685-710.
    16. Fasih, Tazeen & Patrinos, Harry Anthony & Sakellariou, Chris, 2013. "Functional literacy, heterogeneity and the returns to schooling : multi-country evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6697, The World Bank.
    17. Oreopoulos, Philip & Heisz, Andrew, 2006. "The Importance of Signalling in Job Placement and Promotion," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2006236e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    18. Galindo-Rueda, Fernando, 2003. "Employer Learning and Schooling-Related Statistical Discrimination in Britain," IZA Discussion Papers 778, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    19. Spitz, Alexandra, 2004. "Are Skill Requirements in the Workplace Rising? Stylized Facts and Evidence on Skill-Biased Technological Change," ZEW Discussion Papers 04-33, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    20. Steven McMullen, 2011. "How do Students Respond to Labor Market and Education Incentives? An Analysis of Homework Time," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 199-209, September.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:19:y:2000:i:4:p:547-568. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/34787/home .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Wiley Content Delivery (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/34787/home .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.