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Human Capital, Uncertain Wage Distributions, and Educational and Occupational Choices

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  • Mattila, J. Peter
  • Orazem, Peter

Abstract

This study develops a model of occupational and educational choices. Individuals are assumed to choose careers based on expected utility maximization, given uncertainty concerning future earnings. The model directly leads to estimable equations relating career choices to the moments of occupational earnings distributions. The authors report maximum likelihood estimates using a sample of high school graduates from Maryland school districts, 1951-69. The eight observed career choices respond as expected to the first and second moments of the earnings distribution and to a measure of school quality. Reasonable estimates of human capital production and supply elasticities are obtained for the career choices.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 10841.

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Date of creation: 01 Feb 1991
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Publication status: Published in International Economic Review, February 1991,, pp. 103-122
Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:10841

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Postal: Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070
Phone: +1 515.294.6741
Fax: +1 515.294.0221
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Web page: http://www.econ.iastate.edu
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Cited by:
  1. Yu, Li & Orazem, Peter F. & Jolly, Robert W., 2014. "Entrepreneurship over the business cycle," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 122(2), pages 105-110.
  2. Konrad, Kai A. & Kovenock, Dan, 2012. "The lifeboat problem," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 552-559.
  3. Felderer, Bernhard & Drost, André, 2000. "Cyclical Occupational Choice in a Model with Rational Wage Expectations and Perfect Occupational Mobility," Economics Series 81, Institute for Advanced Studies.

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