NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Mark Huggett

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Working Papers and Chapters

May 2012The Money Value of a Man
with Greg Kaplan: w18066
This paper posits a notion of the value of an individual's human capital and the associated return on human capital. These concepts are examined using U.S. data on male earnings and financial asset returns. We find that (1) the value of human capital is far below the value implied by discounting earnings at the risk-free rate, (2) mean human capital returns exceed stock returns early in life and decline with age, (3) the stock component of the value of human capital is smaller than the bond component at all ages and (4) human capital returns and stock returns have a small positive correlation over the working lifetime.
July 2007Sources of Lifetime Inequality
with Gustavo Ventura, Amir Yaron: w13224
Is lifetime inequality mainly due to differences across people established early in life or to differences in luck experienced over the working lifetime? We answer this question within a model that features idiosyncratic shocks to human capital, estimated directly from data, as well as heterogeneity in ability to learn, initial human capital, and initial wealth -- features which are chosen to match observed properties of earnings dynamics by cohorts. We find that as of age 20, differences in initial conditions account for more of the variation in lifetime utility, lifetime earnings and lifetime wealth than do differences in shocks received over the lifetime. Among initial conditions, variation in initial human capital is substantially more important than variation in learning ability or in...

Contact and additional information for this authorAll papers and publicationsWorking Papers onlyWorking Papers with publication info

 
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