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Trends in Quality-Adjusted Skill Premia in the United States, 1960-2000

  • Carneiro, Pedro

    ()

    (University College London)

  • Lee, Sokbae

    ()

    (Seoul National University)

This paper presents new evidence that increases in college enrollment lead to a decline in the average quality of college graduates between 1960 and 2000, resulting in a decrease of 6 percentage points in the college premium. We show that although a standard demand and supply framework can qualitatively account for the trend in the college and age premia over this period, substantial quantitative adjustments still need to be made to account for changes in quality.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5295.

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Length: 72 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: American Economic Review, 2011, 110 (6), 2309-2349
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5295
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  9. Keane, Michael & Moffitt, Robert & Runkle, David, 1988. "Real Wages over the Business Cycle: Estimating the Impact of Heterogeneity with Micro Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(6), pages 1232-66, December.
  10. Bishop, John Hillman, 1989. "Is the Test Score Decline Responsible for the Productivity Growth Decline?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 178-97, March.
  11. Casey B. Mulligan & Yona Rubinstein, 2008. "Selection, Investment, and Women's Relative Wages Over Time," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(3), pages 1061-1110, August.
  12. Carneiro, Pedro & Heckman, James J. & Vytlacil, Edward, 2010. "Estimating Marginal Returns to Education," IZA Discussion Papers 5275, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Groen, J.A.Jeffrey A., 2004. "The effect of college location on migration of college-educated labor," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 125-142.
  14. Richard Blundell & Howard Reed & Thomas M. Stoker, 2003. "Interpreting Aggregate Wage Growth: The Role of Labor Market Participation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1114-1131, September.
  15. Caroline M. Hoxby & Bridget Terry, 1999. "Explaining Rising Income and wage Inequality Among the College Educated," NBER Working Papers 6873, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. David Card & Alan Krueger, 1990. "Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Public Schools in the United States," NBER Working Papers 3358, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Derek Neal, 2002. "The Measured Black-White Wage Gap Among Women is Too Small," NBER Working Papers 9133, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Bound, John & Groen, Jeffrey & Kezdi, G.Gabor & Turner, Sarah, 2004. "Trade in university training: cross-state variation in the production and stock of college-educated labor," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 143-173.
  19. Richard J. Murnane & John B. Willett & Frank Levy, 1995. "The Growing Importance of Cognitive Skills in Wage Determination," NBER Working Papers 5076, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Heckman, James & Layne-Farrar, Anne & Todd, Petra, 1996. "Human Capital Pricing Equations with an Application to Estimating the Effect of Schooling Quality on Earnings," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(4), pages 562-610, November.
  21. A Gosling & Stephen Machin, 1995. "The Changing Distribution of Male Wages in the UK," CEP Discussion Papers dp0271, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  22. Claudia Olivetti & Barbara Petrongolo, 2008. "Unequal Pay or Unequal Employment? A Cross-Country Analysis of Gender Gaps," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(4), pages 621-654, October.
  23. Chinhui Juhn & Dae-Il Kim & Francis Vella, 2004. "The Expansion of College Education in the United States: Is There Evidence of Declining Cohort Quality?," Working Papers 2004-02, Department of Economics, University of Houston.
  24. Meghir, Costas & Whitehouse, Edward, 1996. "The Evolution of Wages in the United Kingdom: Evidence from Micro Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(1), pages 1-25, January.
  25. Amitabh Chandra, 2003. "Is the Convergence of the Racial Wage Gap Illusory?," NBER Working Papers 9476, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Lee, Lung-Fei, 1983. "Generalized Econometric Models with Selectivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(2), pages 507-12, March.
  27. Blundell, Richard & Gosling, Amanda & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Meghir, Costas, 2004. "Changes in the Distribution of Male and Female Wages Accounting for Employment Composition Using Bounds," IZA Discussion Papers 1350, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  28. 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.
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