Changes in the returns to education and college quality
This paper estimates changes in the effects of educational attainment and college quality on three cohorts of students observed during the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Consistent with most of the prior literature, I find that educational attainment and college quality raise earnings, and the magnitudes of these effects have increased over time. The new contributions of this paper are the following: (1) changes in these effects are disaggregated by sex, race, and parent's SES, and include estimates of effects on earnings, labor force participation, family formation, and civic participation; (2) evidence of larger increases in the effects of education on earnings and labor force participation for men, Blacks, and Hispanics; (3) declining effects of educational attainment on voter registration; and (4) increasing effects of college quality on delaying marriage and childbearing, particularly for males.
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