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Cohort effects and the returns to education in West Germany

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  • Boockmann, Bernhard
  • Steiner, Viktor

Abstract

Using a Mincer-type wage function, we estimate cohort effects in the returns to education for West German workers born between 1925 and 1974. The main problem to be tackled in the specification is to separately identify cohort, experience, and possibly also age effects in the returns. For women, we find a large and robust decline in schooling premia: in the private sector, the returns to a further year of post-compulsory education fell from twelve per cent for the 1945-49 cohort to about seven per cent for those born in the early 1970s. Cohort effects in men?s returns to education are less obvious, but we do find evidence that they, too, have declined. We conclude by identifying possible reasons for the decline. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 00-05.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:5281

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Keywords: returns to education; cohort effects; population ageing;

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  1. Zimmermann, Klaus F, 1991. "Ageing and the Labor Market: Age Structure, Cohort Size and Unemployment," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 177-200, August.
  2. Finis Welch, 1979. "Effects of Cohort Size on Earnings: The Baby Boom Babies' Financial Bust," UCLA Economics Working Papers 146, UCLA Department of Economics.
  3. 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.
  4. Dustmann, Christian & van Soest, Arthur, 1998. "Public and private sector wages of male workers in Germany," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(8), pages 1417-1441, September.
  5. David Card & Thomas Lemieux, 2000. "Can Falling Supply Explain the Rising Return to College for Younger Men? A Cohort-Based Analysis," NBER Working Papers 7655, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Lauer, Charlotte & Steiner, Viktor, 2000. "Returns to education in West Germany: an empirical assessment," ZEW Discussion Papers 00-04, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  7. Diane Macunovich, 1999. "The Fortune of One's Birth: Relative Cohort Size and the Youth Labor Market in the United States," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 6, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
  8. Richard B. Freeman, 1979. "The Effect of Demographic Factors on Age-Earnings Profiles," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 14(3), pages 289-318.
  9. Chinhui Juhn, 1999. "Wage inequality and demand for skill: Evidence from five decades," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 52(3), pages 424-443, April.
  10. Stapleton, David C & Young, Douglas J, 1988. "Educational Attainment and Cohort Size," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(3), pages 330-61, July.
  11. Fitzenberger, Bernd & Franz, Wolfgang, 1997. "Flexibilität der qualifikatorischen Lohnstruktur und Lastverteilung der Arbeitslosigkeit: Eine ökonometrische Analyse für Westdeutschland," ZEW Discussion Papers 97-32, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  12. Welch, Finis, 1979. "Effects of Cohort Size on Earnings: The Baby Boom Babies' Financial Bust," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages S65-97, October.
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