Previous posts in this series:
Respondent’s median income (RINCOM06) vs. Wordsum
Highest degree: Bachelor’s
|Wordsum||Weighted N||Median Income|
|6||75.3||$50,000 TO 59,999|
|7||64.2||$60,000 TO 74,999|
|8||46.7||$40,000 TO 49,999|
|9||40.9||$40,000 TO 49,999|
|10||17.9||$40,000 TO 49,999|
Using the same selection criteria as the first post in this series, we are looking only at respondents whose highest educational credential is a bachelor’s degree.
We see the shocking results that, when education is held constant, the respondents with Wordsum scores of 6 and 7 have higher median income than the smarter respondents with Wordsum scores of 8-10.
No, there’s nothing wrong with the numbers. The sample size is small, but these results are consistent with other years in the GSS, and with other datasets. I found the same pattern in the dataset used by the Dale Krueger study.
Why don’t higher verbal abilities lead to higher income? The answer has to be that employers hire people based on their degrees and not their actual ability. Once on the job, employers don’t value the superior job performance of those with higher ability. This is why we talk about “career tracks.” Once a person gets on a track, they just proceed along the track regardless of their ability.