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Education choice under uncertainty: Implications for public policy

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  • Hogan, Vincent
  • Walker, Ian

Abstract

We analyse how progressive taxation and education subsidies affect schooling decisions when the returns to education are stochastic. We use the theory of real options to solve the problem of education choice in a dynamic stochastic model. We show that education attainment will be an increasing function of the risk associated with education. Furthermore, this result holds regardless of the degree of risk aversion. We also show that progressive taxes will tend to increase education attainment.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

Volume (Year): 14 (2007)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
Pages: 894-912

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Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:14:y:2007:i:6:p:894-912

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  1. Harmon, Colm & Hogan, Vincent & Walker, Ian, 2001. "Dispersion in the Economic Return to Schooling," CEPR Discussion Papers 3037, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. James J. Heckman & Lance Lochner & Christopher Taber, 1998. "Tax Policy and Human Capital Formation," NBER Working Papers 6462, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Joseph G. Altonji, 1991. "The Demand for and Return to Education When Education Outcomes are Uncertain," NBER Working Papers 3714, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Christian Belzil & Jörgen Hansen, 2002. "Earnings Dispersion, Risk Aversion and Education," CIRANO Working Papers 2002s-20, CIRANO.
  5. Jeff Dominitz & Charles F. Manski, 1996. "Eliciting Student Expectations of the Returns to Schooling," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(1), pages 1-26.
  6. Eaton, Jonathan & Rosen, Harvey S, 1980. "Taxation, Human Capital, and Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(4), pages 705-15, September.
  7. Kevin Denny & Colm Harmon, 2001. "Testing for sheepskin effects in earnings equations: evidence for five countries," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(9), pages 635-637.
  8. Uusitalo, R. & Conneely, K., 1998. "Estimating Heterogeneous Treatment Effects in the Becker Schooling Model," University of Helsinki, Department of Economics 435, Department of Economics.
  9. Card, David, 2001. "Estimating the Return to Schooling: Progress on Some Persistent Econometric Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(5), pages 1127-60, September.
  10. James J. Heckman & Lance J. Lochner & Petra E. Todd, 2003. "Fifty Years of Mincer Earnings Regressions," NBER Working Papers 9732, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Trostel, Philip A, 1993. "The Effect of Taxation on Human Capital," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 327-50, April.
  12. Vincent Hogan & Ian Walker, 2003. "Education Choice under Uncertainty and Public Policy," Working Papers 200302, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  13. Michael P. Keane & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1995. "The career decisions of young men," Working Papers 559, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  14. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M.R.A. Engel, 1996. "Explaining Investment Dynamics in U.S. Manufacturing: A Generalized (S,s) Approach," Documentos de Trabajo 12, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
  15. Judd, Kenneth L, 1998. "Taxes, Uncertainty, and Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 289-92, May.
  16. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Introduction to "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings"," NBER Chapters, in: Schooling, Experience, and Earnings, pages 1-4 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Pedro Carneiro & Karsten T. Hansen & James J. Heckman, 2003. "Estimating Distributions of Treatment Effects with an Application to the Returns to Schooling and Measurement of the Effects of Uncertainty on College," NBER Working Papers 9546, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number minc74-1, May.
  19. Hogan, Vincent & Ian Walker, 2002. "Education Choice under Uncertainty," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 103, Royal Economic Society.
  20. Carneiro, Pedro & Hansen, Karsten & Heckman, James, 2003. "Estimating distributions of treatment effects with an application to the returns to schooling and measurement of the effects of uncertainty on college choice," Working Paper Series 2003:9, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  21. Williams, Joseph T, 1979. "Uncertainty and the Accumulation of Human Capital over the Life Cycle," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(4), pages 521-48, October.
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