Changes in Wage Inequality, 1970-1990

Jacob Mincer
Skill differentials in wages declined in the1970s and rose in the 1980s, but aggregate wage inequality grew throughout the period. This divergence remains a puzzle in recent studies of U.S. wage inequality. In this paper the sometimes divergent paths of intergroup and intra-group inequality are explained by the human capital approach. In it, wages are the return on cumulated human capital investments. The inter-personal distributions of investments and of marginal rates of return on them...
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