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Education Choice under Uncertainty - Implications for Public Policy

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Author Info

  • Vincent Hogan

    (University College of Dublin)

  • Ian Walker

    (University of Warwick)

Abstract

We analyse how progressive taxation and education subsidies affect schooling decisions when the returns to education are stochastic. We use the theory of real options to solve the problem of education choice in a dynamic stochastic model. We show that education attainment will be an increasing function of the risk associated with education. Furthermore, this result holds regardless of the degree of risk aversion. We also show that progressive taxes will tend to increase education attainment.

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File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/economics/research/papers/2006/WP06.15.pdf
File Function: First version, 2006
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by School Of Economics, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 200615.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 24 Nov 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:200615

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Postal: UCD, Belfield, Dublin 4
Phone: +353-1-7067777
Fax: +353-1-283 0068
Web page: http://www.ucd.ie/economics
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Keywords: Education Choice; Dynamic Optimization; Optimal Stopping; Uncertainty;

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References

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  1. Belzil, Christian & Hansen, Jörgen, 2002. "Earnings Dispersion, Risk Aversion and Education," IZA Discussion Papers 513, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M.R.A. Engel, 1994. "Explaining Investment Dynamics in U.S. Manufacturing: A Generalized (S,s) Approach," NBER Working Papers 4887, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Williams, Joseph T, 1979. "Uncertainty and the Accumulation of Human Capital over the Life Cycle," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(4), pages 521-48, October.
  4. Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance & Todd, Petra E., 2003. "Fifty Years of Mincer Earnings Regressions," IZA Discussion Papers 775, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Vincent Hogan & Ian Walker, 2003. "Education Choice under Uncertainty and Public Policy," Working Papers 200302, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  6. 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.
  7. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Introduction to "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings"," NBER Chapters, in: Schooling, Experience, and Earnings, pages 1-4 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Jeff Dominitz & Charles F. Manski, 1994. "Eliciting Student Expectations Of The Returns To Schooling," Econometrics 9411002, EconWPA.
  9. Pedro Carneiro & Karsten T. Hansen & James J. Heckman, 2003. "Estimating Distributions of Treatment Effects with an Application to the Returns to Schooling and Measurement of the Effects of Uncertainty on College," NBER Working Papers 9546, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Eaton, Jonathan & Rosen, Harvey S, 1980. "Taxation, Human Capital, and Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(4), pages 705-15, September.
  11. Uusitalo, R. & Conneely, K., 1998. "Estimating Heterogeneous Treatment Effects in the Becker Schooling Model," University of Helsinki, Department of Economics 435, Department of Economics.
  12. Heckman, James J & Lochner, Lance & Taber, Christopher, 1998. "Tax Policy and Human-Capital Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 293-97, May.
  13. Denny, K.J. & Harmon, C.P., 1999. "Testing for Sheepskin Effects in Earnings Equations: Evidence for Five Countries," Papers 99/21, College Dublin, Department of Political Economy-.
  14. Hogan, Vincent & Ian Walker, 2002. "Education Choice under Uncertainty," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 103, Royal Economic Society.
  15. Carneiro, Pedro & Hansen, Karsten & Heckman, James, 2003. "Estimating distributions of treatment effects with an application to the returns to schooling and measurement of the effects of uncertainty on college choice," Working Paper Series 2003:9, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  16. Judd, Kenneth L, 1998. "Taxes, Uncertainty, and Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 289-92, May.
  17. Keane, Michael P & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1997. "The Career Decisions of Young Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(3), pages 473-522, June.
  18. Colm Harmon & Vincent Hogan & Ian Walker, 2001. "Dispersion in the Economic Return to Schooling," Working Papers 200116, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  19. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number minc74-1.
  20. Card, David, 2001. "Estimating the Return to Schooling: Progress on Some Persistent Econometric Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(5), pages 1127-60, September.
  21. Trostel, Philip A, 1993. "The Effect of Taxation on Human Capital," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 327-50, April.
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