Publication Date

December 2003

Abstract

Using microdata from the 1994-8 International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS) for nine countries, we examine the role of cognitive skills in explaining higher wage inequality in the United States. We find that while the greater dispersion of cognitive test scores in the United States plays a part in explaining higher U.S. wage inequality, higher labor market prices (i.e., higher returns to measured human capital and cognitive performance) and greater residual inequality still play important roles, and are, on average, quantitatively considerably more important than differences in the distribution of test scores in explaining higher U.S. wage inequality.

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Suggested Citation
Blau, F. D. & Kahn, L. M. (2003). Do cognitive test scores explain higher U.S. wage inequality? Retrieved [insert date] from Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations site: http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/articles/50

Required Publisher Statement
Copyright by Elsevier. Final paper published as Blau, F. D. & Kahn, L. M. (2005). Do cognitive test scores explain higher U.S. wage inequality? The Review of Economics and Statistics, 87(1), 184-193.

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