Is Investing College Education Risky?
AbstractAttending college seems to be a profitable and affordable investment in the US. Nevertheless, a number of academically talented young people still hesitate to attend college. This puzzle motivates this paper to test for whether college education is a risky investment. To measure the riskiness of college attendance, I estimate the risk differential in earnings between college attendees and high school graduates. This paper copes with selection bias problems and distinguishes permanent earnings risk from transitory earnings risks. Evidence indicates that investing in a four-year college education is indeed risky, suggesting that, under certain circumstances, the riskiness of college attendance is an important factor in the schooling choice.
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 EconWPA in its series Labor and Demography with number 0202001.
Date of creation: 03 Feb 2002
Date of revision:
Note: Type of Document - LaTex; prepared on PC; to print on HP;
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://18.104.22.168
riskiness; education; selection bias;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
- C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
- I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2002-06-13 (All new papers)
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.:
- Campbell, John, 1996.
"Understanding Risk and Return,"
3153293, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- John Y. Campbell, 1995. "Understanding Risk and Return," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1711, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- John Y. Campbell, 1993. "Understanding Risk and Return," NBER Working Papers 4554, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Daron Acemoglu & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 2001.
"Changes in the wage structure, family income, and children's education,"
LSE Research Online Documents on Economics
2471, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Acemoglu, Daron & Pischke, J. -S., 2001. "Changes in the wage structure, family income, and children's education," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 890-904, May.
- Daron Acemoglu & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 2000. "Changes in the Wage Structure, Family Income, and Children's Education," NBER Working Papers 7986, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Olson, Lawrence & White, Halbert & Shefrin, H M, 1979. "Optimal Investment in Schooling when Incomes are Risky," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(3), pages 522-39, June.
- Richard Blundell & Thomas M. Stoker, 1994.
"Consumption and the timing of income risk,"
IFS Working Papers
W94/09, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
- Costas Meghir & Marten Palme, 2000.
"Assessing the Effect of Schooling on Earnings Using a Social Experiment,"
Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers
0670, Econometric Society.
- Costas Meghir & Mårten Palme, 1999. "Assessing the effect of schooling on earnings using a social experiment," IFS Working Papers W99/10, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
- Meghir, Costas & Palme, Mårten, 1999. "Assessing the Effect of Schooling on Earnings Using a Social Experiment," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 313, Stockholm School of Economics.
- Robert J. Willis & Sherwin Rosen, 1978.
"Education and Self-Selection,"
NBER Working Papers
0249, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Levhari, David & Weiss, Yoram, 1974. "The Effect of Risk on the Investment in Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(6), pages 950-63, December.
- Taber, Christopher R., 2000. "Semiparametric identification and heterogeneity in discrete choice dynamic programming models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 201-229, June.
- Ekaterini Kyriazidou, 1997. "Estimation of a Panel Data Sample Selection Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(6), pages 1335-1364, November.
- Shea, John, 2000.
"Does parents' money matter?,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 155-184, August.
- David Card, 1994.
"Earnings, Schooling, and Ability Revisited,"
NBER Working Papers
4832, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Joseph G. Altonji, 1991. "The Demand for and Return to Education When Education Outcomes are Uncertain," NBER Working Papers 3714, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Weiss, Yoram, 1972. "The Risk Element in Occupational and Educational Choices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(6), pages 1203-13, Nov.-Dec..
- Richard Blundell & Ian Preston, 1997.
"Consumption, inequality and income uncertainty,"
IFS Working Papers
W97/15, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
- Heckman, James J, 1979.
"Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error,"
Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
- Angrist, Joshua D & Newey, Whitney K, 1991. "Over-Identification Tests in Earnings Functions with Fixed Effects," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 9(3), pages 317-23, July.
- Attanasio, Orazio & Davis, Steven J, 1996.
"Relative Wage Movements and the Distribution of Consumption,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(6), pages 1227-62, December.
- Orazio Attanasio & Steven J. Davis, 1994. "Relative Wage Movements and the Distribution of Consumption," NBER Working Papers 4771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Harmon, Colm & Hogan, Vincent & Walker, Ian, 2001.
"Dispersion in the Economic Return to Schooling,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
3037, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Eckel, Catherine & Johnson, Cathleen & Montmarquette, Claude, 2013.
"Human capital investment by the poor: Informing policy with laboratory experiments,"
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization,
Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 224-239.
- Eckel, Catherine & Johnson, Cathleen & Montmarquette, Claude, 2012. "Human capital investment by the poor: Informing policy with laboratory experiments," MPRA Paper 47782, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Gonzalo Castex, 2010. "Accounting for Changes in College Attendance Profile: a Quantitative Life-Cycle Analysis," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 598, Central Bank of Chile.
- Philip Oreopoulos, 2003. "Do Dropouts Drop Out Too Soon? Evidence from Changes in School-Leaving Laws," Working Papers oreo-03-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
- Philip Oreopoulos, 2003. "Do Dropouts Drop Out Too Soon? International Evidence From Changes in School-Leaving Laws," NBER Working Papers 10155, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (EconWPA).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.