Revisiting The Bell Curve Debate Regarding the Effects of Cognitive Ability on Wages
In The Bell Curve, Herrnstein and Murray (1994) claim, based on evidence from cross-sectional regressions, that differences in wages in the U.S. labor market are predominantly explained by general intelligence. Cawley, Heckman, and Vytlacil (1999), using evidence from random effects panel regressions, reject this claim, in part because returns to general intelligence vary by racial and gender subgroups in their results. In this article, we examine the regression methods used by both sides of the debate and conclude that neither is the appropriate method to analyze the NLSY data that both use. We introduce the Hausman-Taylor estimator to obtain consistent estimated coefficients on the time-invariant general intelligence-related variables and also extend the analysis up through 2002. While many additional socio-economic factors are important explanatory variables in determining the wage rate, the effect of general intelligence on wages is larger in the Hausman-Taylor specification for the 1979-1994 panel than in either the cross-sectional or random effects models, though it becomes statistically insignificant for the 1994-2002 panel. The Hausman-Taylor analysis also indicates no significantly different returns to intelligence by race or gender group.
|Date of creation:||Nov 2006|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: PAC 123, 238 Church Street, Middletown, CT 06459-0007|
Web page: http://www.wesleyan.edu/econ/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Cornwell, Christopher & Rupert, Peter, 1988. "Efficient Estimation with Panel Data: An Empirical Comparison of Instrumental Variables Estimators," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 3(2), pages 149-155, April.
- Hausman, Jerry A & Taylor, William E, 1981.
"Panel Data and Unobservable Individual Effects,"
Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1377-1398, November.
- Cornelis Gardebroek & Alfons Oude Lansink, 2003. "Estimating Farm Productivity Differentials using Panel Data: The Hausman-Taylor Approach," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(3), pages 397-415.
- Breusch, Trevor S & Mizon, Grayham E & Schmidt, Peter, 1989. "Efficient Estimation Using Panel Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 695-700, May.
- Baltagi, Badi H & Khanti-Akom, Sophon, 1990. "On Efficient Estimation with Panel Data: An Empirical Comparison of Instrumental Variables Estimators," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 5(4), pages 401-406, Oct.-Dec..
- Orley Ashenfelter & Cecilia Rouse, 1999. "Schooling, Intelligence, and Income in America: Cracks in the Bell Curve," NBER Working Papers 6902, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- John Cawley & James Heckman & Edward Vytlacil, 1998. "Meritocracy in America: An Examination of Wages Within and Across Occupations," NBER Working Papers 6446, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Baltagi, Badi H. & Bresson, Georges & Pirotte, Alain, 2003. "Fixed effects, random effects or Hausman-Taylor?: A pretest estimator," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 361-369, June.
- Heckman, James J, 1995. "Lessons from the Bell Curve," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 1091-1120, October.
- Cawley, John & Heckman, James & Vytlacil, Edward, 2001. "Three observations on wages and measured cognitive ability," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 419-442, September.
- (*), Nigel Rice & Paul Contoyannis, 2001. "The impact of health on wages: Evidence from the British Household Panel Survey," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 599-622.
- Neal, Derek A & Johnson, William R, 1996.
"The Role of Premarket Factors in Black-White Wage Differences,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 869-895, October.
- Derek A. Neal & William R. Johnson, 1995. "The Role of Pre-Market Factors in Black-White Wage Differences," NBER Working Papers 5124, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Guido Heineck, 2005. "Up in the Skies? The Relationship between Body Height and Earnings in Germany," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 19(3), pages 469-489, 09.
- Amemiya, Takeshi & MaCurdy, Thomas E, 1986. "Instrumental-Variable Estimation of an Error-Components Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(4), pages 869-880, July.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wes:weswpa:2006-026. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Manolis Kaparakis)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.