An Analysis of Earnings
While a much larger percentage of American families are located in the top income bracket in 1990 compared to fifty years ago, there were still slightly over 1/4 of American families with income of $25K or less in 1990. Here, we will analyze some forces contributing to inequality in earnings.
- Learning outcomes for this assignment include further honing analytical skills in terms of generating, reading, and interpreting rudimentary forms of data analysis. We increase our sophistication though by introducing a third variable into our crosstab analysis. Other skills you will learn include:
- Quantitative writing
- Creating visual tools representing quantitative data in the form of charts or graphs
- Translating data finding to inform decision making
- Unfortunately, we don't have the type of data necessary to examine all of these ideas as fully as they might warrant, but we can use census data to shed some general light on individual versus structural factors. Objectives for this exercise include addressing the following questions:
- Is there a relationship between education and earnings as human capital theorists contend?
- Do the occupation or industry people work in influence at all the relationship between their education and earnings?
- What about ascribed statuses like race and gender? Do blacks and whites, men and women earn the same amount if they have equal levels of education?
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Description and Teaching Materials
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