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The lost ones: the opportunities and outcomes of non-college educated Americans born in the 1960s

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  • Borella, Margherita
  • De Nardi, Mariacristina
  • Yang, Fang

Abstract

White, non-college-educated Americans born in the 1960s face shorter life expectancies, higher medical expenses, and lower wages per unit of human capital compared with those born in the 1940s, and men's wages declined more than women's. After documenting these changes, we use a life-cycle model of couples and singles to evaluate their effects. The drop in wages depressed the labor supply of men and increased that of women, especially in married couples. Their shorter life expectancy reduced their retirement savings but the increase in out-of-pocket medical expenses increased them by more. Welfare losses, measured a one-time asset compensation are 12.5%, 8%, and 7.2% of the present discounted value of earnings for single men, couples, and single women, respectively. Lower wages explain 47-58% of these losses, shorter life expectancies 25-34%, and higher medical expenses account for the rest.

Suggested Citation

  • Borella, Margherita & De Nardi, Mariacristina & Yang, Fang, 2019. "The lost ones: the opportunities and outcomes of non-college educated Americans born in the 1960s," CEPR Discussion Papers 13582, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:13582
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Greg Kaplan, 2019. "Comment on "The Lost Ones: The Opportunities and Outcomes of Non-college-educated Americans Born in the 1960s"," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2019, volume 34, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Nicolas A. Roys & Christopher R. Taber, 2019. "Skill Prices, Occupations, and Changes in the Wage Structure for Low Skilled Men," NBER Working Papers 26453, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household

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