ERIC Number: ED309228
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1988-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Education and Income: Recent U.S. Trends.
Levy, Frank; Michel, Richard C.
This paper examines the growing college premium for younger men and the earnings patterns for other groups that developed between 1973 and 1987. At first glance, the rapidly increasing college premium for young men seems to confirm several frequently cited economic trends, including a massive restructuring of the economy that displaces all less educated workers into low-paying jobs and the devaluation of a high school diploma due to the deterioration of public education. However, a review of earning trends for all groups of workers suggests the influence of the following forces on wage trends: (1) shifts in the demand for different kinds of labor; (2) shifts in the supply of different kinds of labor; and (3) macroeconomic forces which determine the underlying trend in wage growth. The economic stagnation of the 1973-1987 period explains the slow growth of all earnings. However, most movements in relative earnings were not driven by changes in the supply of different kinds of labor. The earnings of older men and women performed better than those of younger workers because and demand for younger workers decreased during periods of adjustment in manufacturing employment. Much of the continued slow growth in wages reflects the sustained low growth in productivity which reflects our ability to educate workers. Statistical data are included on six graphs and eight tables. The appendices comprise discussions of the effects of alternative price deflators on real income and testing for the significance of earnings differences. (FMW)
Descriptors: Age Differences, Business Cycles, College Graduates, Economic Factors, Economic Research, Elementary Secondary Education, Females, Higher Education, Labor Needs, Labor Supply, Males, Outcomes of Education, Wages
The Urban Institute, 2100 M Street, NW, Washington, DC 20037.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Urban Inst., Washington, DC.