Accounting for changing returns to experience

Lutz Hendricks 1
  • 1 University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA
Lutz Hendricks


Returns to experience for U.S. workers have changed over the post-war period. This paper argues that a simple model goes a long way towards replicating these changes. The model features three well-known ingredients: (i) an aggregate production function with constant skill-biased technical change; (ii) cohort qualities that vary with average years of schooling; and crucially (iii) time-invariant age-efficiency profiles. The model quantitatively accounts for changes in longitudinal and cross-sectional returns to experience, as well as the differential evolution of the college wage premium for young and old workers.

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The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics publishes significant research and scholarship in theoretical and applied macroeconomics. The range of topics includes business cycle research, economic growth, and monetary economics, as well as topics drawn from the substantial areas of overlap between macroeconomics and international economics, labor economics, finance, development economics, political economy, public economics, econometric theory.