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On the Timing of Education

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  • Sjögren, Anna

    ()
    (The Research Institute of Industrial Economics)

  • Saez-Marti, Maria

    (The Research Institute of Industrial Economics)

Abstract

We propose a simple investment model which shows that, in the presence of fluctuations in and uncertainty about the opportunity cost of time, marginal individuals may choose to delay their education if the opportunity cost of time is temporarily high. Importantly, it is when the completion of the degree is uncertain, but likely enough that individuals will consider delaying their education. As a result, when returns to education are relatively low, education and timing of education will be sensitive to fluctuations in the opportunity cost of time. If return is high, delay is never optimal. These findings are supported by Swedish university enrolment patterns, and cross-country evidence on age of university freshmen.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Research Institute of Industrial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 614.

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Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: 16 Mar 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0614

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Postal: Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46 8 665 4500
Fax: +46 8 665 4599
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Web page: http://www.ifn.se/
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Keywords: Timing of Education; Fluctuating Opportunity Costs;

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References

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  1. Monks, James, 1997. "The impact of college timing on earnings," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 419-423, October.
  2. Griliches, Zvi, 1980. " Schooling Interruption, Work While in School and the Returns from Schooling," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 82(2), pages 291-303.
  3. Yoram Ben-Porath, 1967. "The Production of Human Capital and the Life Cycle of Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 352.
  4. Audrey Light, 1995. "The Effects of Interrupted Schooling on Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(3), pages 472-502.
  5. Sällström, Susanna & Sjogren, Anna, 2002. "Trapped, Delayed and Handicapped," CEPR Discussion Papers 3335, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Trostel, Philip & Walker, Ian & Woolley, Paul, 2002. "Estimates of the economic return to schooling for 28 countries," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 1-16, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Saez-Marti, Maria & Sjögren, Anna, 2004. "Deadlines and Distractions," Working Paper Series 618, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 01 Jul 2004.
  2. Giorgio Di Pietro, 2012. "The Bologna Process and widening participation in university education: new evidence from Italy," Empirica, Springer, vol. 39(3), pages 357-374, August.

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