Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Can Risk Aversion Explain Schooling Attainments? Evidence From Italy

Contents:

Author Info

  • Christian Belzil

    ()
    (GATE CNRS)

  • Marco Leonardi

    (Università di Milano)

Abstract

Using unique Italian panel data, in which individual differences in behavior toward risk are measured from answers to a lottery question, we investigate if (and to what extent) risk aversion can explain differences in schooling attainments. We formulate the schooling decision process as a reduced-form dynamic discrete choice. The model is estimated with a degree of flexibility virtually compatible with semiparametric likelihood techniques. We analyze how grade transition from one level to the next varies with preference heterogeneity (risk aversion), parental human capital, socioeconomic variables and persistent unobserved (to the econometrician) heterogeneity. We present evidence that schooling attainments decrease with risk aversion, but despite a statistically significant effect, differences in attitudes toward risk account for a modest portion of the probability of entering higher education. Differences in ability(ies) and in parental human capital are much more important. in the most general version of the model, the likelihood function is the joint probability of schooling attainments, and post-schooling wealth and risk aversion.

Download Info

If 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.
File URL: ftp://ftp.gate.cnrs.fr/RePEc/2006/0607.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure in its series Working Papers with number 0607.

as in new window
Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:gat:wpaper:0607

Contact details of provider:
Postal: 93, chemin des Mouilles - B.P.167 69131 - Ecully cedex
Phone: 33(0)472 29 30 89
Fax: 33(0)47229 30 90
Web page: http://www.gate.cnrs.fr/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: dynamic discrete choices; éducation; human capital; risk aversion;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance J. & Todd, Petra E., 2006. "Earnings Functions, Rates of Return and Treatment Effects: The Mincer Equation and Beyond," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier, Elsevier.
  2. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio & Pistaferri, Luigi, 2002. "An Empirical Analysis of Earnings and Employment Risk," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(2), pages 241-53, April.
  3. Luigi Guiso & Monica Paiella, 2007. "Risk Aversion, Wealth, and Background Risk," Economics Working Papers ECO2007/47, European University Institute.
  4. Josef Fersterer & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2000. "Smoking, discount rates, and returns to education," Economics working papers 2000-02, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  5. Belzil, Christian, 2006. "The Return to Schooling in Structural Dynamic Models: A Survey," IZA Discussion Papers 2370, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. James J. Heckman & Salvador Navarro, 2005. "Dynamic Discrete Choice and Dynamic Treatment Effects," NBER Technical Working Papers 0316, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Kodde, David A, 1986. "Uncertainty and the Demand for Education," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(3), pages 460-67, August.
  8. Belzil, Christian & Hansen, Jörgen, 2002. "Unobserved Ability and the Return to Schooling," IZA Discussion Papers 508, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Guiso, Luigi & Paiella, Monica, 2004. "The Role of Risk Aversion in Predicting Individual Behaviours," CEPR Discussion Papers 4591, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Joop Hartog & Hans van Ophem & Simona Maria Bajdechi, 2004. "How Risky is Investment in Human Capital?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-080/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  11. Michael Baker & Angelo Melino, 1999. "Duration Dependence and Nonparametric Heterogeneity: A Monte Carlo Study," Working Papers melino-99-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  12. Belzil, Christian, 2007. "Subjective Beliefs and Schooling Decisions," IZA Discussion Papers 2820, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. John F. Geweke & Michael P. Keane, 1997. "Mixture of normals probit models," Staff Report, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis 237, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  14. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Introduction to "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings"," NBER Chapters, in: Schooling, Experience, and Earnings, pages 1-4 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Van den Berg, Gerard J., 2001. "Duration models: specification, identification and multiple durations," Handbook of Econometrics, Elsevier, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 55, pages 3381-3460 Elsevier.
  16. Flinn, Christopher J, 2002. "Labour Market Structure and Inequality: A Comparison of Italy and the U.S," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(3), pages 611-45, July.
  17. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James & Navarro, Salvador, 2004. "Separating uncertainty from heterogeneity in life cycle earnings," Working Paper Series, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy 2005:6, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  18. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman, 2006. "A New Framework for the Analysis of Inequality," NBER Working Papers 12505, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Michael P. Keane & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1995. "The career decisions of young men," Working Papers 559, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  20. Ignacio Palacios-Huerta, 2003. "An Empirical Analysis of the Risk Properties of Human Capital Returns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 948-964, June.
  21. Stephen V. Cameron & James J. Heckman, 1998. "Life Cycle Schooling and Dynamic Selection Bias: Models and Evidence for Five Cohorts of American Males," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(2), pages 262-333, April.
  22. Harmon, Colm & Hogan, Vincent & Walker, Ian, 2001. "Dispersion in the Economic Return to Schooling," CEPR Discussion Papers 3037, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  23. Olson, Lawrence & White, Halbert & Shefrin, H M, 1979. "Optimal Investment in Schooling when Incomes are Risky," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(3), pages 522-39, June.
  24. Joop Hartog & Hans van Ophem & Simona Maria Bajdechi, 2004. "How Risky is Investment in Human Capital?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-080/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  25. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number minc74-1, January.
  26. James Heckman & Edward Vytlacil, 1998. "Instrumental Variables Methods for the Correlated Random Coefficient Model: Estimating the Average Rate of Return to Schooling When the Return is Correlated with Schooling," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(4), pages 974-987.
  27. Chay, Kenneth Y. & Lee, David S., 2000. "Changes in relative wages in the 1980s Returns to observed and unobserved skills and black-white wage differentials," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 1-38, November.
  28. Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 1996. "The Equity Premium: It's Still a Puzzle," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 42-71, March.
  29. Jörgen Hansen & Christian Belzil, 2010. "Structural Estimates of the Intergenerational Education Correlation," Working Papers id:2892, eSocialSciences.
  30. Levhari, David & Weiss, Yoram, 1974. "The Effect of Risk on the Investment in Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(6), pages 950-63, December.
  31. Ham, John C & LaLonde, Robert J, 1996. "The Effect of Sample Selection and Initial Conditions in Duration Models: Evidence from Experimental Data on Training," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 64(1), pages 175-205, January.
  32. Brunello, Giorgio, 2000. "Absolute Risk Aversion and the Returns to Education," IZA Discussion Papers 192, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  33. Hartog, Joop & Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada & Jonker, Nicole, 2002. "Linking Measured Risk Aversion to Individual Characteristics," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 3-26.
  34. John F. Geweke & Michael P. Keane, 1996. "Bayesian inference for dynamic choice models without the need for dynamic programming," Working Papers 564, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  35. Stephen V. Cameron & James J. Heckman, 2001. "The Dynamics of Educational Attainment for Black, Hispanic, and White Males," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 455-499, June.
  36. Chiswick, Barry R & Mincer, Jacob, 1972. "Time-Series Changes in Personal Income Inequality in the United States from 1939, with Projections to 1985," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(3), pages S34-S66, Part II, .
  37. Johnson, Thomas, 1978. "Time in School: The Case of the Prudent Patron," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(5), pages 862-72, December.
  38. Gould, Eric D & Moav, Omer & Weinberg, Bruce A, 2001. " Precautionary Demand for Education, Inequality, and Technological Progress," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 285-315, December.
  39. Zvi Eckstein & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1999. "Why Youths Drop Out of High School: The Impact of Preferences, Opportunities, and Abilities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 67(6), pages 1295-1340, November.
  40. Christian Gollier, 2004. "The Economics of Risk and Time," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262572249, December.
  41. William N. Evans & Edward Montgomery, 1994. "Education and Health: Where There's Smoke There's an Instrument," NBER Working Papers 4949, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  42. Thomas Lemieux, 2006. "Increasing Residual Wage Inequality: Composition Effects, Noisy Data, or Rising Demand for Skill?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 461-498, June.
  43. Yoram Ben-Porath, 1967. "The Production of Human Capital and the Life Cycle of Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 352.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gat:wpaper:0607. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Nelly Wirth).

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.