Student Abilities During the Expansion of US Education

40 Pages Posted: 14 Jan 2014

See all articles by Lutz Hendricks

Lutz Hendricks

UNC Chapel Hill; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Todd Schoellman

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

Date Written: December 30, 2013

Abstract

The US experienced two dramatic changes in the structure of education in a fifty year period. The first was a large expansion of educational attainment; the second, an increase in test score gaps between college bound and non-college bound students. We study the impact of these two trends on the composition of school groups by observed ability and the importance of these composition effects for wages. Our main finding is that there is a growing gap between the abilities of high school and college-educated workers that accounts for one-half of the college wage premium for recent cohorts and for the entire rise of the college wage premium for the 1910-1960 birth cohorts.

Keywords: education, ability, skill premium

JEL Classification: I200, J240

Suggested Citation

Hendricks, Lutz and Schoellman, Todd, Student Abilities During the Expansion of US Education (December 30, 2013). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 4537, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2378277

Lutz Hendricks (Contact Author)

UNC Chapel Hill ( email )

Chapel Hill, NC 27599
United States

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Todd Schoellman

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis ( email )

90 Hennepin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55480
United States

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