Research Report Educational Attainment and Earnings Inequality among US-Born Men
A Lifetime Perspective
Josh Mitchell
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This report tracks the lifetime earnings of men born in the U.S. between 1940 and 1974, focusing on how earnings differences by educational attainment, age, and year of birth have evolved. Both annual and lifetime earnings inequality increased dramatically for men born in the mid-1950s onward. That increase reflects both absolute earnings gains to highly educated workers (especially those with more than a four-year college degree) and absolute earnings losses to less educated workers. Earnings inequality also increases substantially among those with the same level of educational attainment, complicating standard assumptions about the lifetime value of a college degree.
Research Areas Economic mobility and inequality Education Wealth and financial well-being Families
Tags Higher education Economic well-being Wages and nonwage compensation Income and wealth distribution Inequality and mobility Wages and economic mobility
Policy Centers Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center