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Heterogeneity in Schooling Rates of Return

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Author Info

  • Henderson, Daniel J.

    ()
    (University of Alabama)

  • Polachek, Solomon

    ()
    (Binghamton University, New York)

  • Wang, Le

    ()
    (University of Alabama)

Abstract

This paper relaxes the assumption of homogeneous rates of return to schooling by employing nonparametric kernel regression. This approach allows us to examine the differences in rates of return to education both across and within groups. Similar to previous studies we find that on average blacks have higher returns to education than whites, natives have higher returns than immigrants and younger workers have higher returns than older workers. Contrary to previous studies we find that the average gap of the rate of return between white and black workers is larger than previously thought and the gap is smaller between immigrants and natives. We also uncover significant heterogeneity, the extent of which differs both across and within groups. The estimated densities of returns vary across groups and time periods and are often skewed. For example, during the period 1950-1990, at least 5% of whites have negative returns. Finally, we uncover the characteristics common amongst those with the smallest and largest returns to education. For example, we find that immigrants, aged 50-59, are most likely to have rates of return in the bottom 5% of the population.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5662.

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Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economics of Education Review, 2011, 30 (6), 1202-1214
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5662

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Keywords: nonparametric; Mincer regressions; rate of return to education;

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References

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  1. Qi Li & Jeffrey Scott Racine, 2006. "Nonparametric Econometrics: Theory and Practice," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 8355.
  2. Hsiao, Cheng & Li, Qi & Racine, Jeffrey S., 2007. "A consistent model specification test with mixed discrete and continuous data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 140(2), pages 802-826, October.
  3. Francisco L. Rivera-Batiz, 2007. "How Do Migrants from Latin America and the Caribbean Fare in the US Labour Market?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(9), pages 1399-1429, 09.
  4. Racine, Jeff & Li, Qi, 2004. "Nonparametric estimation of regression functions with both categorical and continuous data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 119(1), pages 99-130, March.
  5. Paul W. Miller & Barry R. Chiswick, 1999. "Language skills and earnings among legalized aliens," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 63-89.
  6. Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance & Todd, Petra E., 2008. "Earnings Functions and Rates of Return," IZA Discussion Papers 3310, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Colm Harmon & Vincent Hogan & Ian Walker, 2001. "Dispersion in the Economic Return to Schooling," Working Papers 200116, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  8. 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).
  9. 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.
  10. Koop, Gary M & Tobias, Justin, 2004. "Learning About Heterogeneity in Returns to Schooling," Staff General Research Papers 12008, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  11. Beth J. Soldo & Olivia S. Mitchell & Rania Tfaily & John F. McCabe, 2006. "Cross-Cohort Differences in Health on the Verge of Retirement," NBER Working Papers 12762, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Fossen, Frank M. & Büttner, Tobias J. M., 2012. "The Returns to Education for Opportunity Entrepreneurs, Necessity Entrepreneurs, and Paid Employees," IZA Discussion Papers 6819, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Areendam Chanda & Bibhudutta Panda, . "Productivity Growth in Goods and Services across US States: What can We Learn from Factor Prices?," Departmental Working Papers 2011-16, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
  3. Chunbei Wang & Le Wang, 2012. "The effects of 9/11 on intermarriage between natives and immigrants to the U.S," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-192, June.
  4. Wang, Le, 2011. "How Does Education Affect the Earnings Distribution in Urban China?," IZA Discussion Papers 6173, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Zhu, Rong, 2011. "Individual heterogeneity in returns to education in urban China during 1995-2002," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 113(1), pages 84-87, October.
  6. Li, Mingliang & Tobias, Justin L., 2011. "Bayesian inference in a correlated random coefficients model: Modeling causal effect heterogeneity with an application to heterogeneous returns to schooling," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 162(2), pages 345-361, June.
  7. 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).
  8. Harmon, Colm P., 2011. "Economic Returns to Education: What We Know, What We Don't Know, and Where We Are Going – Some Brief Pointers," IZA Policy Papers 29, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Areendam Chanda & Bibhudutta Panda, . "Unbalanced Productivity Growth in US States: Evidence from Factor Prices," Departmental Working Papers 2012-04, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.

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