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The relative risk aversion hypothesis of educational choice

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Author Info

  • Eskil Heinesen

    ()
    (AKF, Institute of Local Government Studies, Nyropsgade 37, DK-1602 Copenhagen V, Denmark)

  • Richard Davies

    ()
    (Centre for Applied Statistics, Lancaster University, Lancaster, LA1 4YW, UK)

  • Anders Holm

    ()
    (Department of Sociology, University of Copenhagen, Linnésgade 22, DK-1361 Copenhagen K, Denmark)

Abstract

Analysing young people's educational choices, we derive and test implications of a relative risk aversion hypothesis: that educational choices are made so as to minimize the risk of ending up with a lower level of education than one's parents. These implications are in general different from what one would expect from human capital theory. We use a unique data set which combines data from administrative registers on young people's pathways through the educational system and their family background with survey data on their academic abilities at lower secondary school. The evidence is partly in favour of the relative risk aversion hypothesis.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Population Economics.

Volume (Year): 15 (2002)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 683-713

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Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:15:y:2002:i:4:p:683-713

Note: Received: 19 August 1999/Accepted: 10 January 2001
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Related research

Keywords: Educational choice; human capital; intergenerational mobility;

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Cited by:
  1. Gianluca Manzo, 2006. "“Generative Mechanisms and Multivariate Statistical Analysis: Modeling Educational Opportunity Inequality with a Multi-Matrix Log-Linear Topological Model: Contributions and Limitations”," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 40(5), pages 721-758, October.
  2. Robert Erikson & John H. Goldthorpe, 2002. "Intergenerational Inequality: A Sociological Perspective," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 31-44, Summer.
  3. Anders Holm & Mads Meier Jæger, 2005. "Relative Risk Aversion and Social Reproduction in Intergenerational Educational Attainment: Application of a Dynamic Discrete Choice Mode," CAM Working Papers 2006-04, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
  4. James McIntosh & Martin Munk, 2007. "Scholastic ability vs family background in educational success: evidence from Danish sample survey data," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 20(1), pages 101-120, February.

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