Beyond signaling and human capital: Education and the revelation of ability


Journal Article

We provide evidence that college graduation plays a direct role in revealing ability to the labor market. Using the NLSY79, our results suggest that ability is observed nearly perfectly for college graduates, but is revealed to the labor market more gradually for high school graduates. Consequently, from the beginning of their careers, college graduates are paid in accordance with their own ability, while the wages of high school graduates are initially unrelated to their own ability. This view of ability revelation in the labor market has considerable power in explaining racial differences in wages, education, and returns to ability.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Arcidiacono, P; Bayer, P; Hizmo, A

Published Date

  • October 1, 2010

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 2 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 76 - 104

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1945-7790

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1945-7782

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1257/app.2.4.76

Citation Source

  • Scopus