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Jacob MincerA Founding Father of Modern Labor Economics$
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Pedro N. Teixeira

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199211319

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199211319.001.0001

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Placing Human Capital at the Center of Income Distribution

Placing Human Capital at the Center of Income Distribution

(p.33) 3 Placing Human Capital at the Center of Income Distribution
Jacob Mincer

Jacob Mincer

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyzes Mincer's contribution to income distribution research, namely the way he placed human capital at the center of that research. It commences with a brief analysis of the debates that marked the development of research in personal income distribution during the first half of the 20th century. Mincer's thesis of 1957 is analyzed by showing how his work incorporated a broader debate about the purposes and uses of research in personal income. The chapter proceeds by covering Mincer's subsequent work on human capital and lifetime income and wage patterns, which reached a high point with his 1974 book Schooling, Experience, and Earnings and the formulation of the human capital earnings function, which would become a centerpiece of modern labor research. The chapter also shows the way Mincer's research has significantly influenced the economic analysis of income distribution.

Keywords:   income distribution, human capital, on-the-job training, labor, earnings function

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