Education, Ability, and Wealth: A Prospective Study

Robert M. Hauser, University of Wisconsin at Madison

Much is known about the role of education and ability in determining occupational chances and earnings or income. Much less is known about the determinants of wealth, possibly excepting inherited wealth. In this study, we will investigate differentials in the accumulation of wealth at ages 53 to 54 and at ages 64 to 65 in a cohort of male and female high school graduates who have participated in the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS) for nearly half a century. Key explanatory variables include gender, parents’ incomes, adolescent cognitive ability, educational attainment, career success, and inherited wealth.

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Presented in Session 21: Stratification Processes