Mincer equation

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The Mincer equation is a "human capital earnings function" named after Jacob Mincer.[1][2] The equation has been examined on many datasets and Thomas Lemieux argues it is "one of the most widely used models in empirical economics". Typically the logarithm of earnings is modelled as the sum of years of education and a quadratic function of "years of potential experience".[3][4][5]

Where the variables have the following meanings; is earnings ( is the earnings of someone with no education and no experience); is years of schooling; is years of potential labour market experience.[3]

Sherwin Rosen, in his article celebrating Mincer's contribution, memorably noted that when data was interrogated using this equation one might describe them as having been Mincered.[6]


  1. Template:Cite jstor
  2. Mincer, J. (1974). Schooling, Experience and Earnings. New York: National Bureau of Economic Research.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Lemieux, Thomas. (2006) "The 'Mincer equation' Thirty Years after Schooling, Experience, and Earnings" in Jacob Mincer: A Pioneer of Modern Labor Economics, Shoshanna Grossbard, ed., Springer: New York. pp. 127–145.
  4. Heckman, James J., Lance J. Lochner, and Petra E. Todd. (2006) "Earnings functions, rates of return and treatment effects: The Mincer equation and beyond." in Handbook of the Economics of Education Vol. 1. pp. 307–458.
  5. Heckman, James J., Lance J. Lochner, and Petra E. Todd. (2003) Fifty years of Mincer earnings regressions. No. w9732. National Bureau of Economic Research
  6. Template:Cite jstor