unobserved skill

Rosser Jr, John Barkley rosserjb at
Wed Oct 14 15:11:30 PDT 1998

For those who are interested, there is going to be a seminar on pkt about Galbraith's _Created Unequal_ the week after next. Barkley Rosser On Wed, 14 Oct 1998 12:25:04 PDT alec ramsdell <a_ramsdell at> wrote:

> I'm finding _Created Unequal_ very enlightening. I'm far from through,
> but I thought I'd ask a question for now.
> Galbraith cites a study by Chinhui Juhn, Kevin Murphy, and Brooks Pierce
> that separates "three distinct patterns of rising inequality, of
> approximately equal importance." The third is "unobserved skill," a
> category in the discussion of income inequality, originating in the late
> 60s. Can anyone explain this category a little? Galbraith calls it the
> "mysterious third factor," that it's "a residual unattributable to any
> measureable characteristic." Is anyone familiar with the study
> Galbraith cites? If unobserved skill isn't amenable to measurement (of
> what kind, I guess is the quesiton), what kind of explanatory or
> analytic power does it have?
> -Alec
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-- Rosser Jr, John Barkley rosserjb at

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