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Economic Returns to Education: What We Know, What We Don’t Know, and Where We Are Going – Some Brief Pointers

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  • Colm Harmon

    (UCD Geary Institute, University College Dublin Research School of Economics, Australian National University IZA, Bonn)

Abstract

The estimation of the economic return to education has perhaps been one of the predominant areas of analysis in applied economics for over 50 years. In this short note we consider some of the recent directions taken by the literature, and also some of the blockages faced by both science and policymakers in pushing forward some key issues. This serves by way of introduction to a set of papers for a special issue of the Economics of Education Review.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Geary Institute, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 201115.

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Length: 11 pages
Date of creation: 08 Aug 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:201115

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Keywords: Returns to education; education policy;

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References

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  1. Ashenfelter, Orley & Harmon, Colm & Oosterbeek, Hessel, 1999. "A review of estimates of the schooling/earnings relationship, with tests for publication bias," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 453-470, November.
  2. James J. Heckman & Lance J. Lochner & Petra E. Todd, 2008. "Earnings Functions and Rates of Return," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20082, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
  3. Lance Lochner, 2004. "Education, Work, And Crime: A Human Capital Approach," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(3), pages 811-843, 08.
  4. Sergio Urzua & James J. Heckman, 2009. "Comparing IV with Structural Models: What Simple IV Can and Cannot Identify," Working Papers 200906, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  5. 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.
  6. Robert H. Haveman & Barbara L. Wolfe, 1984. "Schooling and Economic Well-Being: The Role of Nonmarket Effects," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 19(3), pages 377-407.
  7. Ian Walker & Yu Zhu, 2008. "The College Wage Premium and the Expansion of Higher Education in the UK," Working Papers 200817, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  8. Francis Green & Yu Zhu, 2010. "Overqualification, job dissatisfaction, and increasing dispersion in the returns to graduate education," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(4), pages 740-763, October.
  9. Dickson, Matt & Smith, Sarah, 2011. "What determines the return to education: An extra year or a hurdle cleared?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1167-1176.
  10. Colm Harmon & Vincent Hogan & Ian Walker, 2001. "Dispersion in the Economic Return to Schooling," Working Papers 200116, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  11. Chevalier, Arnaud, 2011. "Subject Choice and Earnings of UK Graduates," IZA Discussion Papers 5652, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Ignacio Palacios-Huerta, 2003. "An Empirical Analysis of the Risk Properties of Human Capital Returns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 948-964, June.
  13. James Heckman & Justin L. Tobias & Edward Vytlacil, 2001. "Four Parameters of Interest in the Evaluation of Social Programs," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 210-223, October.
  14. Colm Harmon & Hessel Oosterbeek & Ian Walker, 2003. "The Returns to Education: Microeconomics," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(2), pages 115-156, 04.
  15. Paul J Devereux & Wen Fan, 2011. "Earnings Returns to the British Education Expansion," Working Papers 201111, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  16. Oreopoulos, Philip, 2007. "Do dropouts drop out too soon? Wealth, health and happiness from compulsory schooling," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(11-12), pages 2213-2229, December.
  17. James J. Heckman & Edward Vytlacil, 2005. "Structural Equations, Treatment Effects and Econometric Policy Evaluation," NBER Working Papers 11259, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Henderson, Daniel J. & Polachek, Solomon W. & Wang, Le, 2011. "Heterogeneity in schooling rates of return," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1202-1214.
  19. Angel de la Fuente, 2003. "Human capital in a global and knowledge-based economy," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 576.03, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  20. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
  21. Philip Oreopoulos & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2011. "Priceless: The Nonpecuniary Benefits of Schooling," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(1), pages 159-84, Winter.
  22. Milligan, Kevin & Moretti, Enrico & Oreopoulos, Philip, 2004. "Does education improve citizenship? Evidence from the United States and the United Kingdom," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1667-1695, August.
  23. Gary S. Becker, 1962. "Investment in Human Capital: A Theoretical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 9.
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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Economic Returns to Education: What We Know, What We Don’t Know, and Where We Are Going – Some Brief Pointers
    by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2011-08-21 14:15:05
  2. Economic Returns to Education: What We Know, What We Don’t Know, and Where We Are Going – Some Brief Pointers
    by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2011-08-21 14:15:05
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
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Cited by:
  1. Frank M. Fossen & Tobias J. M. Büttner, 2012. "The Returns to Education for Opportunity Entrepreneurs, Necessity Entrepreneurs, and Paid Employees," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1241, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  2. Piper, Alan T., 2012. "A Happiness Test of Human Capital Theory," MPRA Paper 43496, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Lennart Hoogerheide & Joern H. Block & Roy Thurik, 2010. "Family Background Variables as Instruments for Education in Income Regressions: A Bayesian Analysis," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 10-075/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  4. McHenry, Peter, 2013. "The relationship between schooling and migration: Evidence from compulsory schooling laws," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 24-40.
  5. José Joaquín Brunner, 2013. "The Rationale for Higher Education Investment in Ibero-America," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 319, OECD Publishing.
  6. Lamichhane, Kamal & Sawada, Yasuyuki, 2013. "Disability and returns to education in a developing country," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 85-94.

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