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Wage and Test Score Dispersion Some International Evidence

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  • Bedard, Kelly
  • Ferrall, Christopher

Abstract

This paper includes fifty observations on wage distributions across eleven countries and two age cohorts defined by international mathematics tests given to thirteen-year-olds in 1962 and 1982. It is found that wage dispersion later in life is never greater than test score dispersion. In particular, Lorenz curves for a cohorts wages always lie above or on top of the cohorts test score Lorenz curve. Wage dispersion, as summarized by Gini coefficients, is significantly related to test score dispersion and union density in the country. A general fall in test score dispersion between 1962 and 1982 appears to be reflected in reduced wage dispersion. For three countries with available data (the U.S., the U. K., and Japan), evidence of skill-based changes in wage dispersion between the early 1970s and the late 1980s is found.
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Suggested Citation

  • Bedard, Kelly & Ferrall, Christopher, 1997. "Wage and Test Score Dispersion Some International Evidence," Queen's Institute for Economic Research Discussion Papers 273381, Queen's University - Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:queddp:273381
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.273381
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    12. Rose, Heather, 2006. "Do gains in test scores explain labor market outcomes?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 430-446, August.
    13. Checchi, Daniele & van de Werfhorst, Herman Gerbert, 2017. "Policies, Skills and Earnings: How Educational Inequality Affects Earnings Inequality," SocArXiv wn3h2, Center for Open Science.
    14. Lire Ersado & Jérémie Gignoux, 2014. "Inequality of Educational Opportunities in Egypt," PSE Working Papers halshs-01064510, HAL.
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    17. David Jesuit & Douglas Roscoe & Vincent Mahler, 1997. "Exploring the Impact of Trade and Investment on Income Inequality: A Cross-National Sectoral Analysis of the Developed Market Economy Countries," LIS Working papers 159, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    18. Lorenzo Cappellari & Paolo Castelnovo & Daniele Checchi & Marco Leonardi, 2017. "Skilled or Educated? Educational Reforms, Human Capital, and Earnings," Research in Labor Economics, in: Solomon W. Polachek & Konstantinos Pouliakas & Giovanni Russo & Konstantinos Tatsiramos (ed.), Skill Mismatch in Labor Markets, volume 45, pages 173-197, Emerald Publishing Ltd.
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    20. Checchi, Daniele & van de Werfhorst, Herman G., 2014. "Educational Policies and Income Inequality," IZA Discussion Papers 8222, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
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    23. Adaiah Lilenstein, 2020. "Better measures of progress: Developing reliable estimates of educational access and quality in Francophone sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers 13/2020, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    24. Peter Kuhn, 1998. "The Declining Labour Market Outcomes of the Less Skilled: Can Fiscal Policy Make a Difference?," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 24(3), pages 370-377, September.

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