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Have Recent College Graduates Experienced Worsening Wage and Job Distributions?


  • Peter Gottschalk

    () (Boston College)

  • Michael Hansen

    (Boston College)


This article examines whether recent college graduates have fared as well as their predecessors. We examine changes in both the wage and occupational distributions. Specifically, we explore the claim that college educated workers are increasingly likely to be in "non-college" occupations. The latter are defined using standard economic concepts rather than the subjective groupings of occupations used in previous studies. We show that changes in the wage distribution and changes in the proportion of college-educated workers in "non-college" jobs reflect continued improvements through the mid-1980s, but a deterioration in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

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  • Peter Gottschalk & Michael Hansen, 1998. "Have Recent College Graduates Experienced Worsening Wage and Job Distributions?," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 412, Boston College Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:412

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. John Fitzgerald & Peter Gottschalk & Robert Moffitt, 1998. "An Analysis of Sample Attrition in Panel Data: The Michigan Panel Study of Income Dynamics," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(2), pages 251-299.
    2. Katharine G. Abraham & James R. Spletzer & Jay C. Stewart, 1998. "Divergent Trends in Alternative Wage Series," NBER Chapters,in: Labor Statistics Measurement Issues, pages 293-325 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Peter Gottschalk, 1997. "Inequality, Income Growth, and Mobility: The Basic Facts," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 21-40, Spring.
    4. Levy, Frank & Murnane, Richard J, 1992. "U.S. Earnings Levels and Earnings Inequality: A Review of Recent Trends and Proposed Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1333-1381, September.
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