The college wage premium cannot explain growing wage inequality since 2000: Average annual percentage-point changes in wage gaps, 1979–2000 and 2000–2017

Log 95/50 ratio College wage premium
1979–2000 0.86 1.00
2000–2017 0.86 0.16

Notes: Sample based on all workers ages 18–64. The college wage premium is the percent by which hourly wages of four-year college graduates exceed those of otherwise equivalent high school graduates. The regression-based gap is based on average wages and controls for gender, race and ethnicity, education, age, and geographic division. The log of the hourly wage is the dependent variable. The 95/50 wage ratio is a representation of the level of inequality within the hourly wage distribution. It is logged for comparability with the college wage premium.

Source: EPI analysis of Current Population Survey Outgoing Rotation Group microdata

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