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Mind the Gap? Estimating the Effects of Postponing Higher Education

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Author Info

  • Holmlund, Bertil

    ()
    (Department of Economics)

  • Liu, Qian

    ()
    (Department of Economics)

  • Nordström Skans, Oskar

    ()
    (Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation (IFAU))

Abstract

This paper estimates the effects on earnings of “gap years” between high school and university enrollment. The effect is estimated by means of standard earnings functions augmented to account for gap years and a rich set of control variables using administrative Swedish data. We find that postponement of higher education is associated with a persistent and non-trivial earnings penalty. The main source of the persistent penalty appears to be the loss of work experience after studies. The reduction of lifetime earnings associated with two years postponement of higher education amounts to 40-50 percent of annual earnings at age 40.

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File URL: http://uu.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:110999/FULLTEXT01.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Uppsala University, Department of Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 2006:17.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 15 Aug 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Oxford Economic Papers., 2008, pages 683-710.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:2006_017

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P. O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Phone: + 46 18 471 25 00
Fax: + 46 18 471 14 78
Email:
Web page: http://www.nek.uu.se/
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Keywords: timing of education; schooling interruptions; returns to work experience;

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References

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  1. Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance & Todd, Petra E., 2005. "Earnings Functions, Rates of Return and Treatment Effects: The Mincer Equation and Beyond," IZA Discussion Papers 1700, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Reuben Gronau, 1982. "Sex-Related Wage Differentials and Women's Interrupted Labor Careers--The Chicken or the Egg," NBER Working Papers 1002, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Light, Audrey & Ureta, Manuelita, 1995. "Early-Career Work Experience and Gender Wage Differentials," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(1), pages 121-54, January.
  4. James W. Albrecht & Per-Anders Edin & Marianne Sundström & Susan B. Vroman, 1999. "Career Interruptions and Subsequent Earnings: A Reexamination Using Swedish Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(2), pages 294-311.
  5. Monks, James, 1997. "The impact of college timing on earnings," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 419-423, October.
  6. James J. Heckman & Lance J. Lochner & Petra E. Todd, 2003. "Fifty Years of Mincer Earnings Regressions," NBER Working Papers 9732, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Altonji, Joseph G, 1993. "The Demand for and Return to Education When Education Outcomes Are Uncertain," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(1), pages 48-83, January.
  8. Nordström Skans, Oskar & Liljeberg, Linus, 2005. "Causal effects of subsidized career breaks," Working Paper Series 2005:17, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  9. Mincer, Jacob & Polachek, Solomon, 1974. "Family Investment in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages S76-S108, Part II, .
  10. V. Joseph Hotz & Lixin Xu & Marta Tienda & Avner Ahituv, 1999. "Are There Returns to the Wages of Young Men from Working While in School?," JCPR Working Papers 101, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  11. Jacob Mincer & Haim Ofek, 1982. "Interrupted Work Careers: Depreciation and Restoration of Human Capital," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 17(1), pages 3-24.
  12. Blinder, Alan S & Weiss, Yoram, 1976. "Human Capital and Labor Supply: A Synthesis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(3), pages 449-72, June.
  13. 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.
  14. Audrey Light, 1995. "The Effects of Interrupted Schooling on Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(3), pages 472-502.
  15. Comay, Yochanan & Melnik, A & Pollatschek, M A, 1973. "The Option Value of Education and the Optimal Path for Investment in Human Capital," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(2), pages 421-35, June.
  16. Jacob Mincer & Solomon Polacheck, 1974. "Family Investments in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," NBER Chapters, in: Economics of the Family: Marriage, Children, and Human Capital, pages 397-431 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Bergemann, Annette & van den Berg, Gerard J, 2007. "Active Labour Market Policy Effects for Women in Europe - A Survey," CEPR Discussion Papers 6034, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Pekkarinen, Tuomas & Uusitalo, Roope & Pekkala, Sari, 2006. "Education Policy and Intergenerational Income Mobility: Evidence from the Finnish Comprehensive School Reform," IZA Discussion Papers 2204, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Maria K. Humlum & Jannie H.G. Kristoffersen & Rune Vejlin, 2012. "Timing of College Enrollment and Family Formation Decisions," Economics Working Papers 2012-01, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  4. Hallberg, Daniel & Lindh, Thomas & Zamac, Jovan, 2011. "Study achievement for students with kids," Working Paper Series, Center for Labor Studies 2011:16, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  5. S�ren Blomquist & Vidar Christiansen & Luca Micheletto, 2010. "Public Provision of Private Goods and Nondistortionary Marginal Tax Rates," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 1-27, May.
  6. Hällsten, Martin, 2012. "Is it ever too late to study? The economic returns on late tertiary degrees in Sweden," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 179-194.
  7. de Jong, Philip & Lindeboom, Maarten & van der Klaauw, Bas, 2006. "Screening Disability Insurance Applications," CEPR Discussion Papers 5564, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Ågren, Martin, 2006. "Prospect Theory and Higher Moments," Working Paper Series 2006:24, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  9. Forslund, Anders, 2009. "Labour supply incentives, income support systems and taxes in Sweden," Working Paper Series 2009:30, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  10. Lundin, Daniela & Mörk, Eva & Öckert, Björn, 2007. "Do reduced child care prices make parents work more?," Working Paper Series 2007:2, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.

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