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Using Unemployment Rates as Instruments to Estimate Returns to Schooling

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  • Jeremy Arkes

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    (Naval Postgraduate School, Graduate School of Business and Public Policy, 555 Dyer Rd., Monterey, CA 93943 USA)

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    Abstract

    I use state unemployment rates during a person’s teenage years to estimate the returns to schooling. A higher unemployment rate reduces the opportunity costs of attending school. Using the same 1980 Census data set that Angrist and Krueger (1991) use, I also estimate returns to schooling with a modified version of their quarter-of-birth instrument. The estimates from the two-stage least squares (2SLS) model using the unemployment rate and the model using the quarter-of-birth instruments are almost identical. In addition, these 2SLS estimates are larger than the ordinary least squares (OLS) estimates, supporting this counterintuitive, yet prevalent, result in the literature.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Southern Economic Association in its journal Southern Economic Journal.

    Volume (Year): 76 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 3 (January)
    Pages: 711-722

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    Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:76:3:y:2010:p:711-722

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    Cited by:
    1. Erik Alencar de Figueiredo & José Luis da Silva Netto Júnior, 2012. "More Equal But Not So Fair- an Analysis of Brazilian Income Distribution from 1995 to 2009," Série Textos para Discussão (Working Papers) 11, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Economia - PPGE, Universidade Federal da Paraíba.
    2. Mazza, Jacopo & van Ophem, Hans & Hartog, Joop, 2013. "Unobserved heterogeneity and risk in wage variance: Does more schooling reduce earnings risk?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 323-338.
    3. Kasey Buckles & Daniel M. Hungerman, 2008. "Season of Birth and Later Outcomes: Old Questions, New Answers," NBER Working Papers 14573, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Jacopo Mazza & Hans van Ophem & Joop Hartog, 2011. "Unobserved Heterogeneity and Risk in Wage Variance: Does Schooling provide Earnings Insurance?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-045/3, Tinbergen Institute.

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