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College quality and early adult outcomes

  • Long, Mark C.
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    This paper estimates the effects of various college qualities on several early adult outcomes, using panel data from the National Education Longitudinal Study. I compare the results using ordinary least squares with three alternative methods of estimation, including instrumental variables, and the methods used by Dale and Krueger [(2002). Estimating the payoff to attending a more selective college: An application of selection on observables and unobservables. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 117(4), 1491-1528.] and Black and Smith [(2004). How robust is the evidence on the effects of college quality? Evidence from matching. Journal of Econometrics, 121, 99-124.]. I find that college quality does have positive significant effects on most outcomes studied using OLS. While there is some evidence of positive selection bias in the OLS results, the alternative methods rarely produce findings that are significantly different from the OLS estimates. Furthermore, alternative methods have their own limitations, which are discussed. Across methods of estimation, there is solid evidence of positive effects of college quality on college graduation and household income, and weaker evidence of effects on hourly wages.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.

    Volume (Year): 27 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 5 (October)
    Pages: 588-602

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:27:y:2008:i:5:p:588-602
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev

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    1. Janet Currie & Enrico Moretti, 2003. "Mother'S Education And The Intergenerational Transmission Of Human Capital: Evidence From College Openings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1495-1532, November.
    2. Joshua Angrist & Alan Krueger, 1990. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," Working Papers 653, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    3. Loury, Linda Datcher & Garman, David, 1993. "Affirmative Action in Higher Education," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 99-103, May.
    4. Kane, Thomas J & Rouse, Cecilia Elena, 1995. "Labor-Market Returns to Two- and Four-Year College," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 600-614, June.
    5. Dominic J. Brewer & Eric R. Eide & Ronald G. Ehrenberg, 1999. "Does It Pay to Attend an Elite Private College? Cross-Cohort Evidence on the Effects of College Type on Earnings," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(1), pages 104-123.
    6. Stacy Berg Dale & Alan B. Krueger, 2002. "Estimating The Payoff To Attending A More Selective College: An Application Of Selection On Observables And Unobservables," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1491-1527, November.
    7. Behrman, Jere R & Rosenzweig, Mark R & Taubman, Paul, 1996. "College Choice and Wages: Estimates Using Data on Female Twins," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(4), pages 672-85, November.
    8. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
    9. Monks, James, 2000. "The returns to individual and college characteristics: Evidence from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 279-289, June.
    10. Kling, Jeffrey R, 2001. "Interpreting Instrumental Variables Estimates of the Returns to Schooling," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 19(3), pages 358-64, July.
    11. Robert J. Lemke & Isaac C. Rischall, 2003. "Skill, parental income, and IV estimation of the returns to schooling," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(5), pages 281-286, April.
    12. Dan A. Black & Jeffrey Smith, 2003. "How Robust is the Evidence on the Effects of College Quality? Evidence From Matching," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20033, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
    13. Do, Chau, 2004. "The effects of local colleges on the quality of college attended," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 249-257, June.
    14. Kermit Daniel & Dan Black & Jeffery Smith, 1996. "College Quality and the Wages of Young Men," HEW 9604001, EconWPA.
    15. Loury, Linda Datcher & Garman, David, 1995. "College Selectivity and Earnings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 289-308, April.
    16. Griliches, Zvi, 1977. "Estimating the Returns to Schooling: Some Econometric Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(1), pages 1-22, January.
    17. 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.
    18. James, Estelle, et al, 1989. "College Quality and Future Earnings: Where Should You Send Your Child to College?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 247-52, May.
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