Does College Education Pay? Evidence From The NLSY-79 Data

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Diamando Afxentiou
Paul Kutasovic


Wage gap, wage determinants, NLSY-79 data, Chow test, regression analysis


This study examines if the college wage premium favoring college graduates still exists. The NLSY-79 data is employed. The sample includes individuals who received their high school degree and college degree in 1980 and 1981. These individuals were followed until the year 2004. A cross sectional regression model was estimated for the years 1982, 1994, and 2004 and found that education, occupation, and gender were the primary determinants of wages. The income gap between college educated workers and high school educated workers has widen over time. Most interestingly, it is the stagnation of high school educated workers that accounts for the gap.


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