unobserved skill

Doug Henwood dhenwood at
Fri Oct 16 09:50:16 PDT 1998

Doug Henwood wrote:

>Andrew Kliman wrote:
>>(3) EVEN WITHOUT the "unobserved skill" dodge, the work that
>>tries to attribute wage differentials to HC or skill
>>differences -- in other words, HC empirical work as a whole -- is
>>COMPLETELY BOGUS, PURE CRAP. The basic reason is that it is
>>impossible to divide wage differentials into a portion due to
>>skill differentials, a portion due to discrimination, etc.
>>For instance, one's years of schooling is supposedly a key HC
>>variable, one that reflects the person's level of "skill."
>Bowles & Gintis argue that it's very difficult to explain the education
>wage premium on the basis of things people learn in school. Instead,
>educated people earn more in large part because employers think if you
>could stick it out through school, you're likely to be a more docile
>employee and make more money for the boss. Of course this is an entirely
>separate question from the effects of racism and sexism on hiring and pay.

I see Andrew made that point a little further down. That's what I get for responding before scrolling. Sorry. I'll go back to trying to figure out whether the world is falling apart or not.


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