ERIC Number: ED455333
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Jan-28
Ability, Educational Ranks, and Labor Market Trends: The Effects of Shifts in the Skill Composition of Educational Groups. JCPR Working Paper.
Rosenbaum, Dan T.
Large increases in educational attainment have resulted in dramatic shifts in the composition of educational groups. Utilizing 1960-90 Decennial Census and other data, this paper uses educational ranks (cohort-specific relative rankings in educational attainment) as a control for changes in the composition of educational groups. This approach assumes that people in different cohorts with the same educational rank have about the same level of ability. The paper also examines a second approach to controlling for changes in the composition of educational groups, within cohort comparisons. For native white males between 1969-89, accounting for changes in the composition of educational groups: (1) explains about half of the increase in the college-high school weekly earnings differential; (2) results in increases in weekly earnings for the less educated; and (3) doubles the increases in experience differentials for high school graduates who are less educated. The paper questions the common research strategy of using educational groups as a proxy for skill groups over long time periods, noting that estimates of the returns to skill using education differentials are likely to present a misleading portrait of the labor market and arguing that this misleading portrait has been significant over time. (Contains 30 references and 9 tables.) (SM)
Descriptors: Educational Attainment, Elementary Secondary Education, Higher Education, Job Skills, Labor Market, Research Methodology, Salaries, Wages
For full text: http://www.jcpr.org.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL. Inst. for Policy Research.; National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA.
Authoring Institution: Joint Center for Poverty Research, IL.