Rates of Return to University Education: the Regression Discontinuity Design
AbstractEstimating the rate of return to a university degree has always been difficult due to the problem of omitted variable biases. Benefiting from a special feature of the University Admission system in China, which has clear cutoffs for university entry, combined with a unique data set with information on individual National College Entrance Examination (NCEE) scores, we estimate the Local Average Treatment Effects (LATE) of university education based on a Regression Discontinuity design. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to use RD design to estimate the causal effect of a university education on earnings. Our results show that the rates of return to 4-year university education relative to 3-year college education are 40 and 60 per cent for the compliers in the male and female samples, respectively, which are much larger than the simple OLS estimations revealed in previous literature. Since in our sample a large proportion of individuals are compliers (45 per cent for males and 48 per cent for females), the LATEs estimated in this paper have a relatively general implication. In addition, we find that the LATEs are likely to be larger than ATEs, suggesting that the inference drawn from average treatment effects might understate the true effects of the university expansion program introduced in China in 1999 and thereafter.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 634.
Date of creation: Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Rate of return to education; Regression Discontinuity Design; China;
Other versions of this item:
- Fan, Elliott & Meng, Xin & Wei, Zhichao & Zhao, Guochang, 2010. "Rates of Return to University Education: The Regression Discontinuity Design," IZA Discussion Papers 4749, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
- I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
- J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-05-15 (All new papers)
- NEP-CNA-2010-05-15 (China)
- NEP-EDU-2010-05-15 (Education)
- NEP-LAB-2010-05-15 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-TRA-2010-05-15 (Transition Economics)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Loyalka, Prashant & Song, Yingquan & Wei, Jianguo, 2012. "The distribution of financial aid in China: Is aid reaching poor students?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 898-917.
- Martin Carnoy & Prashant Loyalka & Gregory Androushchak & Anna Proudnikova, 2012. "The Economic Returns to Higher Education in the BRIC Countries and their Implications for Higher Education Expansion," HSE Working papers WP BRP 02/EDU/2012, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.