Cohort and period perspectives on gender, education, and earnings in Canada
Analysis of the 1971–2001 Canadian Censuses shows that both cohort- and period-based analyses contribute to understanding change. Cohort models reveal substantial reshaping of the age trajectories of the earnings of full-time full-year workers. The earnings of young men declined substantially, men’s earnings increased more rapidly with age, the age of peak earnings increased, and earnings declined less after their peak. Women’s earnings, nearly unrelated to age in 1970, came to resemble the age trajectory of men. Earnings trajectories are also a function of education, immigration, and racialization. The period models reveal a substantial shock between 1970 and 1980 that dramatically increased the earnings of women and lowered the university premium at all ages. These results do not support the argument that skill-biased technological change (SBTC) reshaped the earnings.