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Jacob Mincer, Experience and the Distribution of Earnings

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  • Chiswick, Barry R.

    (George Washington University)

Abstract

This paper reviews Jacob Mincer’s contributions to the analyses of earnings and the distribution of earnings through his pioneering focus on labor market experience or on-the-job training. It begins with a brief discussion of the theoretical literature on the distribution of earnings in the pre-Mincer period, and then discusses his analysis of human capital and earnings developed in his 1957 doctoral dissertation and 1958 Journal of Political Economy (JPE) article. Further analyses of on-the-job training, and in particular estimates of the rate of return from on-the-job training, are presented in his 1962 JPE paper. The synergy between Mincer and Becker during the 1960s is discussed, as is the development of the schoolingearnings function by Becker and Chiswick (1966). Mincer (1974) extended this relationship by incorporating experience to form the “human capital earnings function” in his Schooling, Experience and Earnings (1974). Subsequent modifications, extensions, tests of robustness and the wide applicability of the human capital earnings functions are presented.

Suggested Citation

  • Chiswick, Barry R., 2003. "Jacob Mincer, Experience and the Distribution of Earnings," IZA Discussion Papers 847, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp847
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Karen Mumford & Peter N Smith, "undated". "The Gender Earnings Gap in Britain," Discussion Papers 04/05, Department of Economics, University of York.
    3. Concetta, MENDOLICCHIO, 2006. "A Disaggregate Analysis of Private Returns to Education in Italy," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2006054, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
    4. Monojit Chatterji & Karen Mumford, 2007. "The Public-Private Sector Wage Differential for Full-Time Male Employees in Britain: A Preliminary Analysis," Dundee Discussion Papers in Economics 201, Economic Studies, University of Dundee.
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    9. Alejos, Luis Alejandro, 2006. "La elección del sector laboral y los retornos a la educación en Guatemala [Labour Sector Choice and the Returns to Education in Guatemala]," MPRA Paper 42756, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Valentina S. Consiglio & Denisa M. Sologon, 2019. "The Myth of Equal Opportunity in Germany?," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 1060, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    11. Filipe Almeida-Santos & Yekaterina Chzhen & Karen Mumford, 2010. "Employee training and wage dispersion: white- and blue-collar workers in Britain," Research in Labor Economics, in: Solomon W. Polachek & Konstantinos Tatsiramos (ed.), Jobs, Training, and Worker Well-being, volume 30, pages 35-60, Emerald Publishing Ltd.
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    17. Stefan Gravemeyer & Thomas Gries & Jinjun Xue, 2011. "Income Determination and Income Discrimination in Shenzhen," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 48(7), pages 1457-1475, May.
    18. Valentina S. Consiglio & Denisa M. Sologon, 2022. "The Myth of Equal Opportunity in Germany? Wage Inequality and the Role of (Non-)academic Family Background for Differences in Capital Endowments and Returns on the Labour Market," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 159(2), pages 455-493, January.
    19. Pedro Spindler-Ruiz, 2021. "Mexican Niches in the US Construction Industry: 2009–2015," Journal of International Migration and Integration, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 405-427, June.
    20. Sylwia Roszkowska & Aleksandra Rogut, 2007. "Rozkład płac i kapitału ludzkiego w Polsce," Gospodarka Narodowa. The Polish Journal of Economics, Warsaw School of Economics, issue 11-12, pages 55-84.
    21. Stefan Gravemeyer & Thomas Gries & Jinjun Xue, 2008. "Discrimination, Income Determination and Inequality – The case of Shenzhen," Working Papers CIE 16, Paderborn University, CIE Center for International Economics.
    22. Agupusi, Patricia, 2019. "The effect of parents’ education appreciation on intergenerational inequality," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 214-222.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    labor market experience; earnings; human capital; income distribution; Jacob Mincer;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • B21 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Microeconomics
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution

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