Does Education Really Help? Skill, Work, and Inequality

Does Education Really Help? Skill, Work, and Inequality

Does Education Really Help? Skill, Work, and Inequality

Does Education Really Help? Skill, Work, and Inequality

Excerpt

This book represents the culmination of almost 25 years of research on the role of skills and education in the determination of labor earnings. Work on this topic was motivated by two seeming paradoxes—first, since the early 1970s, while educational levels and skills were rising in the United States, average real earnings remained flat, and, second, over the same period, while schooling and skills became more equally distributed, earnings inequality was increasing. Much of the early work in this project was conducted jointly with David Howell of the New School for Social Research. This includes the construction of conformable employment matrices by occupation and industry for the period from 1950 to 1985, the development of skill measures by occupation, and some of the early analysis of the results, particularly on trends in worker skill levels and the role of technology in explaining skill changes. In later work, I extended the period under investigation to both 1990 and 2000 and added considerably more analysis of the effects of both skill and education on labor earnings, earnings inequality, productivity growth, and trade patterns.

Earlier results of this research were presented at many conferences and seminars, including the Eighth International Conference on Input-output Techniques, Sapporo, Japan, 1986; Conference on the National Information Infrastructure, Croydon, England, 1986; American Economics Association, Chicago, 1987; Jerome Levy Economics Institute Workshop on Technology, Information, and Productivity, 1989; FREF Workshop on Productivity and Performance in the Insurance Industry, Paris, France, 1990; Conference Explaining Economic Growth, in Honour of Angus Maddison, Groningen, the Netherlands, 1992; the Wharton Financial Institutions Center Conference . . .

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