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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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  9. David Card & Thomas Lemieux, 2001. "Can Falling Supply Explain the Rising Return to College for Younger Men? A Cohort-Based Analysis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 705-746.
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  11. John Bound & Michael F. Lovenheim & Sarah Turner, 2010. "Why Have College Completion Rates Declined? An Analysis of Changing Student Preparation and Collegiate Resources," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 129-57, July.
  12. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1998. "Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed the Labor Market?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1169-1213.
  13. Koeniger, Winfried & Leonardi, Marco & Nunziata, Luca, 2004. "Labour Market Institutions and Wage Inequality," IZA Discussion Papers 1291, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  15. Bound, John & Johnson, George, 1992. "Changes in the Structure of Wages in the 1980's: An Evaluation of Alternative Explanations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 371-92, June.
  16. Kawaguchi, Daiji & Ueno, Yuko, 2013. "Declining long-term employment in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 19-36.
  17. 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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  20. 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.
  21. Ryo Kambayashi & Daiji Kawaguchi & Izumi Yokoyama, 2006. "Wage Distribution in Japan: 1989-2003," Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series d06-183, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  22. Nicole M. Fortin, 2006. "Higher-Education Policies and the College Wage Premium: Cross-State Evidence from the 1990s," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 959-987, September.
  23. 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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