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The effect of college curriculum on earnings: An affinity identifier for non-ignorable non-response bias

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  • Hamermesh, Daniel S.
  • Donald, Stephen G.

Abstract

We link information on graduates from many cohorts to their high-school and college records and demographics to infer the impact of college major on earnings. We develop an estimator to handle potential non-response bias and identify non-response using an affinity measure--the potential respondent's link to the survey organization. This technique is generally applicable for adjusting for unit non-response. In the earnings model estimated using the identified (for non-response bias) selectivity adjustments, adjusted earnings differentials across college majors are below half as large as unadjusted differentials and ten percent smaller than those that do not account for selective non-response.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Econometrics.

Volume (Year): 144 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 479-491

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Handle: RePEc:eee:econom:v:144:y:2008:i:2:p:479-491

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jeconom

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  1. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
  2. Sarah E. Turner & William G. Bowen, 1999. "Choice of major: The changing (unchanging) gender gap," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 52(2), pages 289-313, January.
  3. Moshe Buchinsky, 1998. "The dynamics of changes in the female wage distribution in the USA: a quantile regression approach," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(1), pages 1-30.
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  5. Lois Joy, 2003. "Salaries of recent male and female college graduates: Educational and labor market effects," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(4), pages 606-621, July.
  6. Francis Vella, 1998. "Estimating Models with Sample Selection Bias: A Survey," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(1), pages 127-169.
  7. Koenker,Roger, 2005. "Quantile Regression," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521845731, April.
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  9. James J. Heckman, 1976. "The Common Structure of Statistical Models of Truncation, Sample Selection and Limited Dependent Variables and a Simple Estimator for Such Models," NBER Chapters, in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 5, number 4, pages 475-492 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  12. Olsen, Randall J, 1980. "A Least Squares Correction for Selectivity Bias," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(7), pages 1815-20, November.
  13. Heather Rose & Julian R. Betts, 2004. "The Effect of High School Courses on Earnings," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 497-513, May.
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  16. Bronars, Stephen G & Grogger, Jeff, 1994. "The Economic Consequences of Unwed Motherhood: Using Twin Births as a Natural Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1141-56, December.
  17. Sam Allgood & William Bosshardt & Wilbert van der Klaauw & Michael Watts, 2004. "What Students Remember and Say about College Economics Years Later," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 259-265, May.
  18. Ahn, Hyungtaik & Powell, James L., 1993. "Semiparametric estimation of censored selection models with a nonparametric selection mechanism," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 3-29, July.
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  20. Jeffrey E. Zabel, 1998. "An Analysis of Attrition in the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and the Survey of Income and Program Participation with an Application to a Model of Labor Market Behavior," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(2), pages 479-506.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Gevrek, Deniz & Gevrek, Z. Eylem, 2008. "Nepotism, Incentives and the Academic Success of College Students," IZA Discussion Papers 3711, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Bertoli, S. & Fernández-Huertas Moraga, J. & Ortega, F., 2013. "Crossing the border: Self-selection, earnings and individual migration decisions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 75-91.
  3. V. Joseph Hotz & Peter Arcidiacono & Songman Kang, 2010. "Modeling College Major Choices Using Elicited Measures of Expectations and Counterfactuals," Working Papers 10-30, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  4. Ernest Berkhout & Peter Berkhout & Dinand Webbink, 2011. "The Effects of a Dutch High School Curriculum Reform on Performance in and After Higher Education," De Economist, Springer, vol. 159(1), pages 41-61, March.
  5. Ralph Stinebrickner & Todd R. Stinebrickner, 2014. "A Major in Science? Initial Beliefs and Final Outcomes for College Major and Dropout," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(1), pages 426-472.
  6. Bradley, Elizabeth S., 2012. "The Effect of the Business Cycle on Freshman Major Choice," MPRA Paper 42412, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Susan Dynarski & Joshua M. Hyman & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2011. "Experimental Evidence on the Effect of Childhood Investments on Postsecondary Attainment and Degree Completion," NBER Working Papers 17533, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Hilmer, Michael J. & Hilmer, Christiana E., 2012. "On the relationship between student tastes and motivations, higher education decisions, and annual earnings," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 66-75.
  9. Bollinger, Christopher R. & Hirsch, Barry, 2010. "Is Earnings Nonresponse Ignorable?," IZA Discussion Papers 5347, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Christopher R. Bollinger & Barry T. Hirsch, 2010. "GDP & Beyond – die europäische Perspektive," Working Paper Series of the German Council for Social and Economic Data 165, German Council for Social and Economic Data (RatSWD).

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