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Measuring the Consumption Value of Higher Education

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  • Annette Alstadsæter

Abstract

This article argues that the consumption value of education is an important motivation for educational choice. When controlling for ability, we find that individuals are willing to forego substantial future wage returns to acquire a particular type of higher education. We find that high-ability individuals who attended teachers' college in Norway during the 1960s could have substantially increased their lifetime income by choosing an alternative educational type. Moreover, the ex post price for the consumption value of teachers' college turned out to be even higher than the estimated ex ante willingness to pay for this consumption value. (JEL codes: J24, J31, J33, I21, H89) Copyright The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Ifo Institute for Economic Research, Munich. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by CESifo in its journal CESifo Economic Studies.

Volume (Year): 57 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 458-479

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Handle: RePEc:oup:cesifo:v:57:y:2011:i:3:p:458-479

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  1. Arcidiacono, Peter, 2004. "Ability sorting and the returns to college major," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 343-375.
  2. Bovenberg, A Lans & Jacobs, Bas, 2001. "Redistribution and Education Subsidies are Siamese Twins," CEPR Discussion Papers 3099, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Edward T. Gullason, 1989. "The Consumption Value of Schooling: An Empirical Estimate of One Aspect," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(2), pages 287-298.
  4. Fredriksson, Peter, 1997. " Economic Incentives and the Demand for Higher Education," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 99(1), pages 129-42, March.
  5. Robert Dur & Amihai Glazer, 2005. "Subsidizing Enjoyable Education," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-010/1, Tinbergen Institute, revised 29 Aug 2007.
  6. Christiansen, Charlotte & Joensen, Juanna Schroter & Nielsen, Helena Skyt, 2007. "The risk-return trade-off in human capital investment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 971-986, December.
  7. Roland Benabou & Jean Tirole, 2003. "Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(3), pages 489-520, 07.
  8. James J. Heckman & Lance Lochner & Christopher Taber, 1999. "General Equilibrium Cost Benefit Analysis of Education and Tax Policies," NBER Working Papers 6881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Loury, Linda Datcher & Garman, David, 1995. "College Selectivity and Earnings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 289-308, April.
  10. Kodde, David A & Ritzen, Jozef M M, 1984. "Integrating Consumption and Investment Motives in a Neoclassical Model of Demand for Education," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(4), pages 598-608.
  11. Burton A. Weisbrod, 1962. "Education and Investment in Human Capital," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 106.
  12. Robert J. Willis & Sherwin Rosen, 1978. "Education and Self-Selection," NBER Working Papers 0249, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Orley Ashenfelter & Cecilia Rouse, 1998. "Income, Schooling, And Ability: Evidence From A New Sample Of Identical Twins," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(1), pages 253-284, February.
  14. A. Lans Bovenberg & Bas Jacobs, 2005. "Redistribution and Education Subsidies are Siamese Twins," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-036/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  15. Lazear, Edward P, 1977. "Education: Consumption or Production?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 569-97, June.
  16. Hessel Oosterbeek & Hans van Ophem, 2000. "Schooling choices: Preferences, discount rates, and rates of return," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 15-34.
  17. Bowles, Samuel, 1972. "Schooling and Inequality from Generation to Generation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(3), pages S219-S51, Part II, .
  18. 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.
  19. Thomas N. Daymonti & Paul J. Andrisani, 1984. "Job Preferences, College Major, and the Gender Gap in Earnings," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 19(3), pages 408-428.
  20. Dolton, P J & Makepeace, G H & Van Der Klaauw, W, 1989. "Occupational Choice and Earnings Determination: The Role of Sample Selection and Non-pecuniary Factors," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(3), pages 573-94, July.
  21. Alstadsí¦ter, Annette & Kolm, Ann-Sofie & Larsen, Birthe, 2008. "Money or joy: The choice of educational type," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 107-122, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Mira Fischer & Patrick Kampkoetter, 2014. "Striving for Excellence: University Competition, Quality Perceptions, and Ability Sorting," Cologne Graduate School Working Paper Series 05-01, Cologne Graduate School in Management, Economics and Social Sciences.
  2. Björn Kauder & Niklas Potrafke, 2013. "Government ideology and tuition fee policy: Evidence from the German states," Ifo Working Paper Series Ifo Working Paper No. 159, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
  3. Grimaud, Andre & Tournemaine, Frederic, 2007. "Why can an environmental policy tax promote growth through the channel of education?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 27-36, April.
  4. Annette Alstadsæter & Hans Henrik Sievertsen, 2009. "The Consumption Value of Higher Education," CESifo Working Paper Series 2871, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Saziye P. Akyol & Kala Krishna, 2014. "Preferences, Selection, and Value Added: A Structural Approach," NBER Working Papers 20013, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Robert Dur & Amihai Glazer, 2005. "Subsidizing Enjoyable Education," CESifo Working Paper Series 1560, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Philip Oreopoulos & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2009. "How large are returns to schooling? Hint: Money isn't everything," NBER Working Papers 15339, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Anderberg, Dan, 2013. "Post-compulsory education: Participation and politics," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 134-150.

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