Life cycle wage growth across countries

David Lagakos, Benjamin Moll, Tommaso Porzio, Nancy Qian, Todd Schoellman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


This paper documents how life cycle wage growth varies across countries. We harmonize repeated cross-sectional surveys from a set of countries of all income levels and then measure how wages rise with potential experience. Our main finding is that experience-wage profiles are on average twice as steep in rich countries as in poor countries. In addition, more educated workers have steeper profiles than the less educated; this accounts for around one-third of cross-country differences in aggregate profiles. Our findings are consistent with theories in which workers in poor countries accumulate less human capital or face greater search frictions over the life cycle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)797-849
Number of pages53
JournalJournal of Political Economy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics


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