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Winning the Race against Technology

  • KAWAGUCHI Daiji
  • MORI Yuko

This study examines the importance of the supply factor as a determinant of the college wage premium by comparing the trends of the college wage premium between Japan and the United States. The wage differential between college and high school graduates decreased from 0.35 log point to 0.34 log point in Japan between 1986 and 2008, while during the same period, it increased from 0.43 to 0.65 in the United States. This paper demonstrates that the more rapid increase in the number of college graduates in Japan explains about one-third of these contrasting trends. A simulation indicates that if the supply in the United States had followed that in Japan, the return to college would have increased by 0.15 point instead of the actual 0.23 point. The difference in post-war fertility trends largely explains the difference in the supply increase of college graduates between the two countries.

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Paper provided by Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI) in its series Discussion papers with number 14017.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:eti:dpaper:14017
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  1. Kambayashi, Ryo & Kawaguchi, Daiji & Yamada, Ken, 2013. "Minimum wage in a deflationary economy: The Japanese experience, 1994–2003," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 264-276.
  2. Ryo Kambayashi & Daiji Kawaguchi & Izumi Yokoyama, 2008. "Wage distribution in Japan, 1989-2003," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1329-1350, November.
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  13. Bound, John & Turner, Sarah, 2007. "Cohort crowding: How resources affect collegiate attainment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(5-6), pages 877-899, June.
  14. Katz, L.F. & Murphy, K.M., 1991. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963-1987: Supply and Demand Factors," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1580, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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  17. Masanori Hashimoto, 1974. "Economics of Postwar Fertility in Japan: Differentials and Trends," NBER Chapters, in: Marriage, Family, Human Capital, and Fertility, pages 170-199 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  21. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2008. "Trends in U.S. Wage Inequality: Revising the Revisionists," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 300-323, May.
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  23. Maarten Goos & Alan Manning, 2003. "Lousy and Lovely Jobs: the Rising Polarization of Work in Britain," CEP Discussion Papers dp0604, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  24. Ken Yamada & Daiji Kawaguchi, 2012. "Changing Unchanged Inequality: Higher Education, Youth Population, and the Japan's Seniority Wages," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd12-243, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  25. Katz, Lawrence F. & Revenga, Ana L., 1989. "Changes in the structure of wages: The United States vs Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 522-553, December.
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  28. Hashimoto, Masanori, 1974. "Economics of Postwar Fertility in Japan: Differentials and Trends," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages S170-S194, Part II, .
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