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Does Formal Education for Older Workers Increase Earnings? — Evidence Based on Rich Data and Long-term Follow-up

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  • Anders Stenberg
  • Xavier Luna
  • Olle Westerlund

Abstract

Governments in Europe, Canada and the USA have expressed an ambition to stimulate education of older. In this paper, we analyse if there are effects on annual earnings of formal education for participants aged 42–55 at the time of enrolment in 1994–95. The analysis explores longitudinal population register data stretching from 1982 to 2007. The method used is difference-in-differences propensity score matching based on a rich set of covariates, including indicators of health and labor market marginalization. Our findings underline the importance of long follow up periods and imply positive effects for women, especially so for women with children, and no significant average earnings effects for men. These results differ from earlier studies but are stable to several alternative assumptions regarding unobservable characteristics. Data further indicate that the gender gap in our estimates may stem from differences in underlying reasons for enrolment.

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  • Anders Stenberg & Xavier Luna & Olle Westerlund, 2014. "Does Formal Education for Older Workers Increase Earnings? — Evidence Based on Rich Data and Long-term Follow-up," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 28(2), pages 163-189, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:labour:v:28:y:2014:i:2:p:163-189
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    1. Stenberg, Anders & Westerlund, Olle, 2016. "Flexibility at a cost – Should governments stimulate tertiary education for adults?," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 7(C), pages 69-86.
    2. Anders Stenberg & Olle Westerlund, 2015. "The long-term earnings consequences of general vs. specific training of the unemployed," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-26, December.
    3. Bäckström, Peter & Hanes, Niklas, 2023. "The Impact of Peacekeeping on Post-Deployment Earnings for Swedish Veterans," Umeå Economic Studies 1010, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
    4. Forslund, Anders, 2019. "Employment outcomes and policies in Sweden during recent decades," Working Paper Series 2019:15, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    5. Boockmann, Bernhard & Fries, Jan & Göbel, Christian, 2018. "Specific measures for older employees and late career employment," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 12(C), pages 159-174.
    6. Stenberg, Anders, 2022. "A Note on Evaluating Formal Education for Adults," Working Paper Series 1/2022, Stockholm University, Swedish Institute for Social Research, revised 14 Jun 2022.
    7. Tilley, J. Lucas, 2023. "School resources, peer inputs, and student outcomes in adult education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 96(C).
    8. Rzepka, Sylvi, 2018. "Labor market returns to college education with vocational qualifications," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, vol. 26(4), pages 411-431.
    9. Rzepka, Sylvi, 2016. "Labor market returns to college education with vocational qualifications," Ruhr Economic Papers 633, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    10. Karlsson, Linn, 2021. "Never too late? Returning to university after completing secondary education as adults," Umeå Economic Studies 1002, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
    11. Pilav-Velić Amila & Jahić Hatidža & Okičić Jasmina & Kokorović-Jukan Meldina, 2019. "The impact of formal and non – formal education on youth employability in Bosnia and Herzegovina," Croatian Review of Economic, Business and Social Statistics, Sciendo, vol. 5(1), pages 55-66, May.
    12. Brandén, Gunnar, 2022. "Replacing student grants with loans. Evidence from a Swedish policy reform," Working Paper Series 2022:7, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    13. Stenberg, Anders, 2022. "Does formal education for adults yield long-term multiplier effects or human capital depreciation?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 90(C).

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