The Co-twin Methodology and Returns to Schooling – Testing a Critical Assumption
AbstractTwins-based estimates of the return to schooling feature prominently in the labor economics literature. The validity of such estimates hinges critically on the assumption that within-pair variation in schooling is explained by factors which are unrelated to wage earning ability. This paper develops a framework for testing this assumption, and finds, using a unique dataset of monozygotic twins, strong evidence against it. Di¤erences in adolescent IQ test scores predict within-pair variation in educational attainment, and including IQ in the wage equation causes within-pair point estimates for the returns to schooling to decline significantly. Our results thus cast doubt on the validity of estimates derived from the co-twin literature.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Research Institute of Industrial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 806.
Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 24 Aug 2009
Date of revision:
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Postal: Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden
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Returns to Schooling; Twins; Equal Ability Assumption;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
- 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-2009-08-30 (All new papers)
- NEP-EDU-2009-08-30 (Education)
- NEP-HRM-2009-08-30 (Human Capital & Human Resource Management)
- NEP-LAB-2009-08-30 (Labour Economics)
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Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Lundborg, Petter & Nordin, Martin & Rooth, Dan Olof, 2012. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital. The Role of Skills and Health," Working Papers 2012:22, Lund University, Department of Economics.
- Lundborg, Petter & Nilsson, Anton & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2011. "Does Early Life Health Predict Schooling Within Twin Pairs?," IZA Discussion Papers 5803, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Rachel Berner Shalem & Francesca Cornaglia & Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, 2012. "The Enduring Impact of Childhood Experience on Mental Health: Evidence Using Instrumented Co-Twin Data," CEP Discussion Papers dp1175, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Gerdtham, Ulf-G & Lundborg, Petter & Lyttkens, Carl Hampus & Nystedt, Paul, 2012. "Do Socioeconomic Factors Really Explain Income-Related Inequalities in Health? Applying a Twin Design to Standard Decomposition Analysis," Working Papers 2012:21, Lund University, Department of Economics.
- Lundborg, Petter & Nordin, Martin & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2011. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital: Exploring the Role of Skills and Health Using Data on Adoptees and Twins," IZA Discussion Papers 6099, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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