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Estimating the economic return to educational levels using data on twins

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  • Gunnar Isacsson

    (Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Borlänge, Sweden)

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    Abstract

    This paper relaxes some restrictions of previous twin-based estimates of the effects of education on earnings. First, it estimates the earnings premiums associated with different educational levels. Second, it estimates a piecewise linear relationship between the natural logarithm of annual earnings and years of schooling. Third, the measurement error corrections are based on a less restrictive, 'non-classical', measurement error model. The estimation strategy implies that ability bias can be investigated separately in different parts of the educational distribution. The linear relationship between the logarithm of annual earnings and years of schooling is rejected. Furthermore, the results in the sample of identical (MZ) twins indicated both that the ability bias could be of different signs and of different magnitudes in different parts of the educational distribution. The twin-based estimates in the sample of fraternal (DZ) twins did not display any marked differences as compared to the cross-sectional estimates. Finally, the results indicated that the error-corrected twin-based estimates of the average return to years of schooling that rely on a classical measurement error model are upwards biased by approximately 30%. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Applied Econometrics.

    Volume (Year): 19 (2004)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 99-119

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    Handle: RePEc:jae:japmet:v:19:y:2004:i:1:p:99-119

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    1. John Bound & Gary Solon, 1998. "Double Trouble: On the Value of Twins-Based Estimation of the Return to Schooling," NBER Working Papers 6721, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Joshua Angrist & Alan Krueger, 1998. "Empirical Strategies in Labor Economics," Working papers 98-7, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    3. Ashenfelter, Orley & Krueger, Alan B, 1994. "Estimates of the Economic Returns to Schooling from a New Sample of Twins," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1157-73, December.
    4. Rouse, Cecilia Elena, 1999. "Further estimates of the economic return to schooling from a new sample of twins," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 149-157, April.
    5. Griliches, Zvi, 1979. "Sibling Models and Data in Economics: Beginnings of a Survey," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages S37-64, October.
    6. Arellano, Manuel & Meghir, Costas, 1992. "Female Labour Supply and On-the-Job Search: An Empirical Model Estimated Using Complementary Data Sets," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(3), pages 537-59, July.
    7. Griliches, Zvi, 1977. "Estimating the Returns to Schooling: Some Econometric Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(1), pages 1-22, January.
    8. Freeman, Richard Barry, 1984. "Longitudinal Analyses of the Effects of Trade Unions," Scholarly Articles 4631951, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    9. Orley Ashenfelter & David J. Zimmerman, 1997. "Estimates Of The Returns To Schooling From Sibling Data: Fathers, Sons, And Brothers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(1), pages 1-9, February.
    10. Behrman, Jere R. & Rosenzweig, Mark R., 1999. ""Ability" biases in schooling returns and twins: a test and new estimates," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 159-167, April.
    11. Behrman, Jere R & Rosenzweig, Mark R & Taubman, Paul, 1994. "Endowments and the Allocation of Schooling in the Family and in the Marriage Market: The Twins Experiment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(6), pages 1131-74, December.
    12. Krueger, Alan B & Summers, Lawrence H, 1988. "Efficiency Wages and the Inter-industry Wage Structure," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 259-93, March.
    13. Neumark, David, 1999. "Biases in twin estimates of the return to schooling," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 143-148, April.
    14. Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1996. "On Using Linear Regressions in Welfare Economics," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 14(4), pages 478-86, October.
    15. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
    16. Miller, Paul & Mulvey, Charles & Martin, Nick, 1997. "Family Characteristics and the Returns to Schooling: Evidence on Gender Differences from a Sample of Australian Twins," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 64(253), pages 119-36, February.
    17. Miller, Paul W & Mulvey, Charles & Martin, Nick, 1995. "What Do Twins Studies Reveal about the Economic Returns to Education? A Comparison of Australian and U.S. Findings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 586-99, June.
    18. Isacsson, Gunnar, 1999. "Estimates of the return to schooling in Sweden from a large sample of twins," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 471-489, November.
    19. Daron Acemoglu & Joshua Angrist, 2001. "How Large are Human-Capital Externalities? Evidence from Compulsory-Schooling Laws," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2000, Volume 15, pages 9-74 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Thomas J. Kane & Cecilia Elena Rouse & Douglas Staiger, 1999. "Estimating Returns to Schooling When Schooling is Misreported," NBER Working Papers 7235, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:
    1. Böhlmark, Anders, 2005. "Age at Immigration and School Performance: A Siblings Analysis Using Swedish Register Data," Working Paper Series 6/2005, Swedish Institute for Social Research, revised 10 Dec 2007.
    2. Bhuller, Manudeep & Mogstad, Magne & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2011. "Life-Cycle Bias and the Returns to Schooling in Current and Lifetime Earnings," IZA Discussion Papers 5788, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Bhuller, Manudeep & Mogstad, Magne & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2014. "Life Cycle Earnings, Education Premiums and Internal Rates of Return," IZA Discussion Papers 8316, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Nabanita Datta Gupta & Nina Smith & Leslie S. Stratton, 2007. "Is Marriage Poisonous? Are Relationships Taxing? An Analysis of the Male Marital Wage Differential in Denmark," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 412-433, October.
    5. Sandewall, Örjan & Cesarini, David & Johannesson, Magnus, 2009. "The Co-twin Methodology and Returns to Schooling – Testing a Critical Assumption," Working Paper Series 806, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    6. Lundborg, Petter & Nilsson, Anton & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2011. "Does Early Life Health Predict Schooling Within Twin Pairs?," IZA Discussion Papers 5803, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. NAKAMURO Makiko & INUI Tomohiko, 2012. "Estimating the Returns to Education Using a Sample of Twins - The case of Japan -," Discussion papers 12076, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    8. Nilsson, William, 2005. "Heterogeneity or True State Dependence in Poverty - The tale told by twins," UmeÃ¥ Economic Studies 650, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
    9. David Cesarini & Magnus Johannesson & Patrik K. E. Magnusson & Björn Wallace, 2012. "The Behavioral Genetics of Behavioral Anomalies," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(1), pages 21-34, January.
    10. Hällsten, Martin, 2012. "Is it ever too late to study? The economic returns on late tertiary degrees in Sweden," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 179-194.
    11. Björklund, Anders, 2006. "Family Background and Outcomes Later in Life: A (Partial and Personal) Survey of Recent Research Using Swedish Register Data," Working Paper Series 4/2007, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
    12. van der Loos, Matthijs J. H. M. & Benjamin, Daniel J. & Cesarini, David & Dawes, Christopher T. & Koellinger, Philipp D. & Magnusson, Patrik K. E. & Chabris, Christopher F. & Conley, Dalton & Laibson,, 2012. "The Genetic Architecture of Economic and Political Preferences," Scholarly Articles 10121961, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    13. Paul Bingley & Vibeke Myrup Jensen & Ian Walker, 2007. "The Effect of School Class Size on Post-Compulsory Education: Some Cost Benefit Analysis," Working Papers 200717, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    14. Bingley, Paul & Jensen, Vibeke Myrup & Walker, Ian, 2005. "The Effects of School Class Size on Length of Post-Compulsory Education: Some Cost-Benefit Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 1605, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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