Profile Major Works Resources

Jacob Mincer, 1922-

Photo of J. Mincer

Although this Polish-born labor economist has been at Columbia for most of his career, his work has been most closely connected to the research programme of the "Chicago School". In a series of early papers (1958, 1962), Mincer introduced the concept of "human capital" into labor economics and used it to explain wage differentials (before G.S. Becker or T.W. Schultz). His 1974 book, Schooling, Experience and Earnings, extrapolated the human capital thesis into the "earnings function" and the concept of "overtaking". His pioneering work on female labor force participation, fertility and demographics (1962, 1974, 1978, 1981) is very much in the spirit of the concurrent Chicago "New Institutionalist" invasion of sociological concerns such as non-market behavior (cf. Becker).



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Major Works of Jacob Mincer

  • "Investment in Human Capital and Personal Income Distribution", 1958, JPE
  • "On-the-Job Training: Costs, returns and some implications", 1962, JPE.
  • "Labor Force Participation of Married Women", 1962, in Lewis, editor, Aspects of Labor Economics
  • "Market Prices, Opportunity Costs and Income Effects", 1963, in Christ, editor, Measurement in Economics
  • "Labor Force Participation and Unemployment: a review of recent evidence", 1966, in Gordon and Gordon, editors, Prosperity and Unemployment.
  • Editor, Economic Forecasts and Expectations, 1969.
  • "The Distribution of Labor Incomes", 1970, JEL
  • "Family Investment in Human Capital: Earnings of women", with S. Polachek, 1974, JPE
  • Schooling, Experience and Earnings, 1974.
  • "Family Migration Decisions", 1978, JPE
  • "Labor Mobility and Wages", with B. Jovanovic, 1981, in Rosen, editor, Studies in Labor Markets.




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Resources on  Jacob Mincer

  • Mincer receives award at Columbia, article at Columbia News, 2002
  • Mincer obituary at Columbia News, 2006
  • Mincer obituary at NY Times, 2006
  • "Jacob Mincer and the Centrality of Human Capital for Contemporary Labour Economics" by Pedro Teixeira [pdf]
  • Wikipedia


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