Jacob Mincer: A Pioneer of Modern Labor Economics by Shoshana Grossbard

By Shoshana Grossbard

This quantity includes essays by means of or approximately Jacob Mincer who's a founder of glossy empirical hard work economics. This own assortment not just examines Mincer’s study, it additionally assesses the influence of his paintings at the careers of numerous very important economists and comprises parts of Mincer’s correspondence with these students. individuals to this quantity comprise Gary Becker and James Heckman, each one of whom is a Nobel Laureate and previous Mincer collaborator.

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Additional info for Jacob Mincer: A Pioneer of Modern Labor Economics

Sample text

Chicago Starting in 1973, Becker published his theory of marriage, which he had begun writing while at Columbia (Becker 1973,1974a; see also 1981). Becker’s theory of marriage differs significantly from the model of household allocation of time that he had published earlier (Becker 1965) in that it assumes maximization of individual utility (rather than household utility) and includes the assumption of competitive marriage markets. Becker’s insight that individual women and men face an indeterminate distribution of consumption in marriage, depending on marriage market conditions, opened the door to new theories of intra-household allocation, theories that assume that allocation of income inside the household involves individual agency.

We had a theoretical model, and did some empirical work. Why did we not publish this? That is a good question. We should have! I am sure that it would have become an influential paper. We thought that the empirical relationship predicted by the theory between consumption and income was not quite right, and we did want to work further on that, but never did. I had a look at the paper a year ago or so– I still think it is quite a good paper! Although we did not write much together, the intellectual collaboration and interaction was continuous, so it is hard to know what was his contribution and what was mine.

7 Although Mincer and Becker never published a joint paper, their mutual cooperation has been rated as very productive by themselves, colleagues, former students, and other participants in their joint labor workshop. All the participants in this ‘Golden Age’ of the NHE at Columbia to whom I talked reported a unique sense of excitement around the labor workshop led by Mincer and Becker. It is in this workshop that Mincer and Becker developed Modern Labor Economics (MLE) as we know it, NHE being a major aspect of MLE (other major aspects of MLE developed by Mincer and Becker being economic analyses of human capital and wage determination).

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