The Causal Effect of Education on Wages Revisited
AbstractThis paper estimates the return to education using two alternative instrumental variable estimators: one exploits variation in schooling associated with early smoking behaviour, the other uses the raising of the minimum school leaving age. Each instrument estimates a 'local average treatment effect' and my motivation is to analyse the extent to which these differ and which is more appropriate for drawing conclusions about the return to education in Britain. I implement each instrument on the same data from the British Household Panel Survey, and use the over-identification to test the validity of my instruments. I find that the instrument constructed using early smoking behaviour is valid as well as being strong, and argue that it provides a better estimate of the average effect of additional education, akin to ordinary least squares but corrected for endogeneity. I also exploit the dual sources of exogenous variation in schooling to derive a further IV estimate of the return to schooling. I find the OLS estimate to be considerably downward biased (around 4.6%) compared with the IV estimates of 12.9% (early smoking), 10.2% (RoSLA) and 12.5% (both instruments).
Download InfoIf 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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4419.
Length: 87 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2009
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org
Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Other versions of this item:
- I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
- J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-10-10 (All new papers)
- NEP-EDU-2009-10-10 (Education)
- NEP-HRM-2009-10-10 (Human Capital & Human Resource Management)
- NEP-LAB-2009-10-10 (Labour Economics)
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.:
- Lorraine Dearden & Emla Fitzsimons & Gill Wyness, 2011. "The Impact of Tuition Fees and Support on University Participation in the UK," CEE Discussion Papers 0126, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
- Christopher F Baum & Mark E. Schaffer & Steven Stillman, 2007.
"Enhanced routines for instrumental variables/GMM estimation and testing,"
Boston College Working Papers in Economics
667, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 05 Sep 2007.
- Christopher F Baum & Mark E. Schaffer & Steven Stillman, 2007. "Enhanced routines for instrumental variables/GMM estimation and testing," CERT Discussion Papers 0706, Centre for Economic Reform and Transformation, Heriot Watt University.
- Park, Jin Heum, 1999. "Estimation of sheepskin effects using the old and the new measures of educational attainment in the Current Population Survey," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 237-240, February.
- repec:pri:indrel:710 is not listed on IDEAS
- Griliches, Zvi, 1977. "Estimating the Returns to Schooling: Some Econometric Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(1), pages 1-22, January.
- Haroon Chowdry & Claire Crawford & Lorraine Dearden & Alissa Goodman & Anna Vignoles, 2010.
"Widening participation in higher education: analysis using linked administrative data,"
IFS Working Papers
W10/04, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
- Haroon Chowdry & Claire Crawford & Lorraine Dearden & Alissa Goodman & Anna Vignoles, 2013. "Widening participation in higher education: analysis using linked administrative data," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 176(2), pages 431-457, 02.
- Chowdry, H. & Crawford, C. & Dearden, L. & Goodman, A. & Vignoles, A., 2008. "Widening participation in Higher Education: analysis using linked administrative data," Open Access publications from University College London http://discovery.ucl.ac.u, University College London.
- Haroon Chowdry & Claire Crawford & Lorraine Dearden & Alissa Goodman & Anna Vignoles, 2010. "Widening Participation in Higher Education: Analysis Using Linked Administrative Data," DoQSS Working Papers 10-08, Department of Quantitative Social Science - Institute of Education, University of London.
- Chowdry, Haroon & Crawford, Claire & Dearden, Lorraine & Goodman, Alissa & Vignoles, Anna, 2010. "Widening Participation in Higher Education: Analysis Using Linked Administrative Data," IZA Discussion Papers 4991, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Farrell, Phillip & Fuchs, Victor R. & Fuchs, Victor R., 1982.
"Schooling and health : The cigarette connection,"
Journal of Health Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 217-230, December.
- Harmon, Colm & Walker, Ian, 1999. "The marginal and average returns to schooling in the UK," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 879-887, April.
- Chevalier, Arnaud & Harmon, Colm & Walker, Ian & Zhu, Yu, 2003.
"Does Education Raise Productivity or Just Reflect It?,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
3993, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Arnaud Chevalier & Colm Harmon & Ian Walker & Yu Zhu, 2004. "Does Education Raise Productivity, or Just Reflect it?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(499), pages F499-F517, November.
- Arnaud Chevalier & Colm Harmon & Ian Walker & Yu Zhu, 2003. "Does education raise productivity, or just reflect it?," Working Papers 200304, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
- Jeffrey R. Kling, 2000.
"Interpreting Instrumental Variables Estimates of the Returns to Schooling,"
NBER Working Papers
7989, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kling, Jeffrey R, 2001. "Interpreting Instrumental Variables Estimates of the Returns to Schooling," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 19(3), pages 358-64, July.
- Philip Oreopoulos, 2006. "Estimating Average and Local Average Treatment Effects of Education when Compulsory Schooling Laws Really Matter," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 152-175, March.
- James H. Stock & Motohiro Yogo, 2002. "Testing for Weak Instruments in Linear IV Regression," NBER Technical Working Papers 0284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Pedro Carneiro & James J. Heckman, 2002.
"The Evidence on Credit Constraints in Post-Secondary Schooling,"
NBER Working Papers
9055, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Pedro Carneiro & James J. Heckman, 2002. "The Evidence on Credit Constraints in Post--secondary Schooling," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(482), pages 705-734, October.
- Carneiro, Pedro & Heckman, James J., 2002. "The Evidence on Credit Constraints in Post-Secondary Schooling," IZA Discussion Papers 518, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997.
"Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments,"
Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
- Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1994. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," NBER Technical Working Papers 0151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Michael P. Murray, 2006. "Avoiding Invalid Instruments and Coping with Weak Instruments," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(4), pages 111-132, Fall.
- Uusitalo, Roope, 1999. "Return to education in Finland," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 569-580, November.
- David Card, 1994. "Earnings, Schooling, and Ability Revisited," NBER Working Papers 4832, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988.
"A Theory of Rational Addiction,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 675-700, August.
- Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy, 1986. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 41, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
- Harmon, C & Ian Walker, 1995. "Estimates of the economic return to schooling for the UK," IFS Working Papers W95/12, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
- Lang, Kevin, 1993. "Ability Bias, Discount Rate Bias and the Return to Education," MPRA Paper 24651, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- John Bound & David A. Jaeger & Regina Baker, 1993. "The Cure Can Be Worse than the Disease: A Cautionary Tale Regarding Instrumental Variables," NBER Technical Working Papers 0137, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- John Bound & David A. Jaeger, 1996. "On the Validity of Season of Birth as an Instrument in Wage Equations: A Comment on Angrist & Krueger's "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Scho," NBER Working Papers 5835, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Lalith Munasinghe & Nachum Sicherman, 2000. "Why Do Dancers Smoke? Time Preference, Occupational Choice, and Wage Growth," NBER Working Papers 7542, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Harmon, Colm & Walker, Ian, 2000. "The Returns to the Quantity and Quality of Education: Evidence for Men in England and Wales," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 67(265), pages 19-35, February.
- Devereux, Paul J. & Fan, Wen, 2011.
"Earnings returns to the British education expansion,"
Economics of Education Review,
Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1153-1166.
- Paul J Devereux & Wen Fan, 2011. "Earnings Returns to the British Education Expansion," Working Papers 201111, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
- Arabsheibani, Reza & Staneva, Anita V., 2012. "Returns to Education in Russia: Where There Is Risky Sexual Behaviour There Is Also an Instrument," IZA Discussion Papers 6726, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Paul Gregg & Lindsey Macmillan, 2009. "Family Income and Education in the Next Generation: Exploring income gradients in education for current cohorts of youth," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 09/223, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
- Simone Balestra & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2013. "Heterogeneous Returns to Education Over the Wage Distribution: Who Profits the Most?," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0091, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak).
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.