ERIC Number: ED455406
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
Does Inequality in Skills Explain Inequality of Earnings across Advanced Countries? NBER Working Paper Series.
Devroye, Dan; Freeman, Richard
The question of whether inequality in skills explains inequality of earnings across advanced countries was examined through a review of data from the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS), which examined the prose, document, and quantitative literacy skills of adults in 12 member countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. In all countries, jobless individuals tended to have lower skill levels than workers. The distribution of earnings and the distribution of skills varied widely among advanced countries, with the major English-speaking countries, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada, having much greater inequality in both earnings and skills than continental European Union countries. According to data from the IALS, skill inequality explains only approximately 7% of the cross-country difference in earnings inequality. The dispersion of earnings in the United States was found to be larger in narrowly defined skill groups than was the dispersion of earnings for European workers overall. In the United States, IALS test scores rose substantially with movement up the income scale, with the increase in scores averaging 17 points per income quintile. The bulk of cross-country differences in earnings inequality were found to occur within skill groups rather than between them. (The bibliography contains 20 references. Twelve tables/figures are included.) (MN)
Descriptors: Adult Education, Adult Literacy, Comparative Analysis, Developed Nations, Education Work Relationship, Educational Attainment, Employment Level, Employment Patterns, Employment Qualifications, Equal Education, Foreign Countries, Job Skills, Literacy Education, Numeracy, Postsecondary Education, Role of Education, Salary Wage Differentials, Secondary Education, Trend Analysis
For full text: http://www.nber.org/papers/w8140.
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, MA.
Identifiers - Location: Canada; European Union; United Kingdom; United States
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: International Adult Literacy Survey