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How Fast Do Wages Adjust to Human-Capital Productivity? Dynamic Panel-Data Evidence from Belgium, Denmark and Finland

  • Andini, Corrado


    (University of Madeira)

The standard human-capital model is based on the assumption that the observed wage of an individual is equal to the monetary value of the individual net human-capital productivity, the so-called net potential wage. We argue that this assumption is rejected by the ECHP data for Belgium, Denmark and Finland. The empirical evidence supports a dynamic approach to the Mincer equation where no equality is imposed but an adjustment between observed and potential earnings is allowed to take place over time. Controlling for regressors' endogeneity, individual heterogeneity and time effects, we estimate a dynamic panel-data wage equation and provide measures of the speed of adjustment in Belgium, Denmark and Finland. Further, we elaborate on the implications of a dynamic approach to the Mincer equation for the computation of the return to schooling, including the implication that this return is not independent of labor-market experience, as suggested by Heckman et al. (2005) and Belzil (2007). Finally, we show that a dynamic wage equation can be seen as the solution of a simple wage-bargaining model and argue that a micro-founded model can fit the data better than a simple adjustment model but requires more theoretical assumptions.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4583.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4583
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  1. Martins, Pedro S. & Pereira, Pedro T., 2004. "Does education reduce wage inequality? Quantile regression evidence from 16 countries," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 355-371, June.
  2. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
  3. Sokbae Lee, 2004. "Endogeneity in quantile regression models: a control function approach," CeMMAP working papers CWP08/04, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  4. Corrado Andini, 2009. "Wage Bargaining and the (Dynamic) Mincer Equation," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 29(3), pages 1842-1849.
  5. Chernozhukov, Victor & Hansen, Christian, 2006. "Instrumental quantile regression inference for structural and treatment effect models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 132(2), pages 491-525, June.
  6. Corrado Andini, 2007. "Returns to education and wage equations: a dynamic approach," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(8), pages 577-579.
  7. Buchinsky, Moshe, 1994. "Changes in the U.S. Wage Structure 1963-1987: Application of Quantile Regression," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 405-58, March.
  8. Flannery, Mark J. & Rangan, Kasturi P., 2006. "Partial adjustment toward target capital structures," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 469-506, March.
  9. Philip A. Trostel, 2005. "Nonlinearity in the return to education," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 0, pages 191-202, May.
  10. Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
  11. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
  12. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Introduction to "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings"," NBER Chapters, in: Schooling, Experience, and Earnings, pages 1-4 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Murphy, Kevin M & Welch, Finis, 1990. "Empirical Age-Earnings Profiles," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(2), pages 202-29, April.
  14. Mikael Lindahl & Alan B. Krueger, 2001. "Education for Growth: Why and for Whom?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1101-1136, December.
  15. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number minc74-1, September.
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