IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/ecm/emetrp/v70y2002i5p2075-2091.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Unobserved Ability and the Return to Schooling

Author

Listed:
  • Christian Belzil

    (Concordia University, W., Montreal, Canada, CIRANO, CIREQ, and IZA)

  • Jörgen Hansen

    (Concordia University, W., Montreal, Canada, CEPR, CIRANO, CIREQ, and IZA)

Abstract

We estimate a structural dynamic programming model of schooling decisions with unobserved heterogeneity in school ability and market ability on a sample taken from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY). Both the instantaneous utility of attending school and the wage regression function are estimated flexibly. The null hypothesis that the local returns to schooling are constant is strongly rejected in favor of a convex wage regression function composed of 8 spline segments. The local returns are very low until grade 11 (1% per year or less), increase to 3.7% in grade 12 and exceed 10% only from grade 14 to grade 16. The average return increases smoothly from 0.4% (grade 7) to 4.6% (grade 16). The convexity of the log wage regression function implies that those who obtain more schooling also experience higher average returns. We strongly reject the null hypothesis that unobserved market ability is uncorrelated with realized schooling attainments, which underlies many previous studies that have used OLS to estimate the return to schooling. The correlation between realized schooling and market ability is found to be positive and is consistent with the existence of a positive “Ability Bias”.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Belzil & Jörgen Hansen, 2002. "Unobserved Ability and the Return to Schooling," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 2075-2091, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:70:y:2002:i:5:p:2075-2091
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rust, John, 1987. "Optimal Replacement of GMC Bus Engines: An Empirical Model of Harold Zurcher," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(5), pages 999-1033, September.
    2. James Heckman & Edward Vytlacil, 1998. "Instrumental Variables Methods for the Correlated Random Coefficient Model: Estimating the Average Rate of Return to Schooling When the Return is Correlated with Schooling," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(4), pages 974-987.
    3. Belzil, Christian & Hansen, Jorgen, 2007. "A structural analysis of the correlated random coefficient wage regression model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 140(2), pages 827-848, October.
    4. Kenneth I. Wolpin & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2000. "Natural "Natural Experiments" in Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(4), pages 827-874, December.
    5. Richard Blundell & James L. Powell, 2001. "Endogeneity in nonparametric and semiparametric regression models," CeMMAP working papers CWP09/01, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    6. Eckstein, Z. & Wolpin, K.I., 1997. "Youth Employment and Academic Perfomance in High School," Papers 24-97, Tel Aviv.
    7. Audrey Light & Wayne Strayer, 2000. "Determinants of College Completion: School Quality or Student Ability?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(2), pages 299-332.
    8. Whitney K. Newey & James L. Powell & Francis Vella, 1999. "Nonparametric Estimation of Triangular Simultaneous Equations Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(3), pages 565-604, May.
    9. Christian Belzil & Jörgen Hansen, 2002. "Unobserved Ability and the Return to Schooling," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 2075-2091, September.
    10. Christian Belzil & Jörgen Hansen, 2001. "Heterogeneous Returns to Human Capital and Dynamic Self-Selection," CIRANO Working Papers 2001s-10, CIRANO.
    11. Lang, Kevin, 1993. "Ability Bias, Discount Rate Bias and the Return to Education," MPRA Paper 24651, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Christian Belzil & Jörgen Hansen, 2001. "Estimating the Intergenerational Education Correlation from a Dynamic Programming Model," CIRANO Working Papers 2001s-20, CIRANO.
    13. 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.
    14. Charles F. Manski & John V. Pepper, 2000. "Monotone Instrumental Variables, with an Application to the Returns to Schooling," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(4), pages 997-1012, July.
    15. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
    16. Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 1996. "The Equity Premium: It's Still a Puzzle," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 42-71, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Christian Belzil & Jörgen Hansen, 2002. "Earnings Dispersion, Risk Aversion and Education," CIRANO Working Papers 2002s-20, CIRANO.
    2. Belzil, Christian & Hansen, Jorgen, 2007. "A structural analysis of the correlated random coefficient wage regression model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 140(2), pages 827-848, October.
    3. Christian Belzil, 2008. "Testing the Specification of the Mincer Wage Equation," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 91-92, pages 427-451.
    4. Belzil, Christian & Hansen, Jörgen, 2001. "Heterogeneous Returns to Human Capital and Dynamic Self-Selection," IZA Discussion Papers 272, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Belzil, Christian, 2007. "The return to schooling in structural dynamic models: a survey," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(5), pages 1059-1105, July.
    6. Belzil, Christian & Hansen, Jörgen, 2005. "A Structural Analysis of the Correlated Random Coefficient Wage Regression Model with an Application to the OLS-IV Puzzle," IZA Discussion Papers 1585, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Christian Belzil & Jorgen Hansen & Xingfei Liu, 2017. "Dynamic skill accumulation, education policies, and the return to schooling," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 8(3), pages 895-927, November.
    8. Belzil, Christian & Hansen, Jörgen, 1999. "Subjective Discount Rates, Intergenerational Transfers and the Return to Schooling," IZA Discussion Papers 60, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Belzil, Christian & Leonardi, Marco, 2007. "Can risk aversion explain schooling attainments? Evidence from Italy," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 957-970, December.
    10. Paul Sullivan, 2010. "A Dynamic Analysis Of Educational Attainment, Occupational Choices, And Job Search," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 51(1), pages 289-317, February.
    11. Lee, Sokbae, 2007. "Endogeneity in quantile regression models: A control function approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 141(2), pages 1131-1158, December.
    12. Kemptner, Daniel & Tolan, Songül, 2018. "The role of time preferences in educational decision making," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 25-39.
    13. Ge, Suqin, 2013. "Estimating the returns to schooling: Implications from a dynamic discrete choice model," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 92-105.
    14. John K. Dagsvik & TorbjØrn HÆgeland & Arvid Raknerud, 2011. "Estimating the returns to schooling: a likelihood approach based on normal mixtures," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(4), pages 613-640, June.
    15. Belzil, Christian, 2004. "Un modèle économétrique dynamique de l’abandon scolaire au Québec et en Ontario," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 80(2), pages 363-381, Juin-Sept.
    16. Jean-Pierre Florens & James Heckman & Costas Meghir & Edward Vytlacil, 2002. "Instrumental variables, local instrumental variables and control functions," CeMMAP working papers CWP15/02, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    17. Lídia Farré & Roger Klein & Francis Vella, 2013. "A parametric control function approach to estimating the returns to schooling in the absence of exclusion restrictions: an application to the NLSY," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 111-133, February.
    18. Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 2005. "Does Air Quality Matter? Evidence from the Housing Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 376-424, April.
    19. Belzil, Christian & Hansen, Jörgen, 2008. "Calibration and IV Estimation of a Wage Outcome Equation in a Dynamic Environment," IZA Discussion Papers 3528, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    20. Vincent (Vincent Peter) Hogan & Roberto Rigobon, 2002. "Using heteroscedasticity to estimate the returns to education," Open Access publications 10197/1100, School of Economics, University College Dublin.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:70:y:2002:i:5:p:2075-2091. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/essssea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Wiley Content Delivery (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/essssea.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.