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In 2012 RLE celebrated its 35th anniversary with a retrospective volume containing 20 of the most influential articles along with new introductory prefatory updates.

Written by the original authors, these new prefaces emphasize recent developments that each article might have inspired, and they also discuss remaining unanswered questions.

The reprinted articles were chosen on the strength of two criteria. First they were based on year-adjusted citations. Second, they were based on whether the analytic research contained in the original article spurred new ideas in the field. This latter criterion eliminated several purely survey articles that received a large number of citations.
Of the 20 articles in this retrospective volume, two deal with labor supply (Burdett and Mortensen, as well as Moffitt and Kehrer); six deal directly with human capital acquisition and its effects on earnings (Card, Angrist and Evans, Currie and Thomas, Figlio and Stone, Lillard and Tan, as well as Duncan and Dunifon); five deal with geographic and job mobility (Polachek and Horvath, Topel, Borjas and Rosen, Mincer, as well as Clark, Georgellis and Sanfey); three deal with motivating effort through principles of personnel economics (Pencavel, Lazear, as well as MacLeod and Parent); four deal with aspects of earnings distribution (Fields, Katz and Krueger, Altonji and Dunn, as well as Brown). 


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