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What Accounts for the U.S.-Canada Education-Premium Difference?

  • Oleksiy Kryvtsov
  • Alexander Ueberfeldt

This paper analyzes the differences in wage ratios of university graduates to less than university graduates, the education premium, in Canada and the United States from 1980 to 2000. Both countries experienced a similar increase in the fraction of university graduates and a similar increase in skill biased technological change based on capital-embodied technological progress, but only the United States had a large increase in the education premium. Using a calibrated Krussel et al. (2000) model, the paper finds that the cross country difference is in equal proportion due to the effective stock of capital equipment, the growth in skilled labor supply relative to unskilled labor and the relative abundance of skilled population in 1980. Growth in the working age population is unimportant for the difference.

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File URL: http://www.bankofcanada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/wp09-4.pdf
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Paper provided by Bank of Canada in its series Working Papers with number 09-4.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:09-4
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Web page: http://www.bank-banque-canada.ca/

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  1. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Krusell, Per, 1997. "Long-Run Implications of Investment-Specific Technological Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 342-62, June.
  2. Katz, Lawrence F & Murphy, Kevin M, 1992. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963-1987: Supply and Demand Factors," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 35-78, February.
  3. Larry E. Jones & Rodolfo E. Manuelli & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2003. "Why are married women working so much?," Staff Report 317, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  4. Jason G. Cummins & Giovanni L. Violante, 2002. "Investment-Specific Technical Change in the US (1947-2000): Measurement and Macroeconomic Consequences," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(2), pages 243-284, April.
  5. J. B. Burbidge & L. Magee & A. Leslie Robb, 2002. "The Education Premium in Canada and the United States," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 28(2), pages 203-217, June.
  6. Per Krusell & Lee E. Ohanian & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull & Giovanni L. Violante, 1997. "Capital-skill complementarity and inequality: a macroeconomic analysis," Staff Report 239, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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