Heckman Focus summary of Hum Cap policy article

Heckman Focus summary of Hum Cap policy article -...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Focus University of Wisconsin–Madison Institute for Research on Poverty Volume 23 Number 3 Spring 2005 ISSN: 0195–5705 Inequality in America: What role for human capital policies? Growth in the quality of the workforce has been a major source of U.S. productivity growth and economic mobil- ity in the past century. But recently, growth in the quality of the workforce has slowed down. 1 The growth in educa- tional attainment across cohorts of Americans born since 1950 has decelerated compared to the trend in the preced- ing 50 years. Measured correctly, the proportion of high school dropouts in entering cohorts of workers has in- creased in the past twenty years, even among the nonim- migrant population. 2 This has serious implications for growth in aggregate real wages. The slowdown in the growth in the quality of the U.S. labor force came during a period of increasing wage differentials between skilled and unskilled workers. Around 1980, the measured wage premium for higher- skilled workers in the United States began to increase substantially. Adolescent white males from the top half of the family income distribution responded to the new eco- nomic incentives with higher college attendance rates, but the response of those from lower-income families was weaker (Figure 1). Across all demographic groups, the already substantial socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic gaps in college attendance widened. Because education is a primary determinant of earnings, these disparate re- sponses to the new market for skills widened racial, eth- nic, and family-related wage differentials, contributing to rising economic inequality among U.S. households. 3 Our current understanding of the causes of the gaps and trends visible in Figure 1 is limited. The debate over This article discusses issues addressed by James Heckman, Henry Schulz Distinguished Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, in his seminar of the same title at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in November 2004. The seminar is one in a IRP seminar series devoted to the causes and consequences of inequality. Inequality in America: What role for human capital policies? 1 Economic inequality and educational attainment across a generation 11 Equal opportunities for children: Social welfare expenditures in the English-speaking countries and Western Europe 16 Social policy in the upper Midwest: A new Web resource 24 The CNSTAT workshop on experimental poverty measures, June 2004 26 Adjusting the poverty measure for geographic variations: What difference would it make? 31 Temporary downturn? Temporary staffing in the recession and the jobless recovery 35 Fixed-term employment and its poverty implications: Evidence from Spain 42
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
2 appropriate and cost-effective solutions for increasing the supply of skilled labor in an economically efficient way has been intense. There is no shortage of policy proposals. Disparities in educational attainment are seen as important contributors to rising income inequality. The uneven quality of U.S. schools has been held responsible.
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 03/25/2010 for the course SOC WORK 206 taught by Professor Lock during the Spring '10 term at Wisconsin.

Page1 / 10

Heckman Focus summary of Hum Cap policy article -...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online