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Changes in the returns to education and college quality

  • Long, Mark C.
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    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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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VB9-4XDD088-3/2/b6f4aafb41efdfcf6395bef48442c1a4
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.

    Volume (Year): 29 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 3 (June)
    Pages: 338-347

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:29:y:2010:i:3:p:338-347
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev

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    1. 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.
    2. Lorraine Dearden & Javier Ferri & Costas Meghir, 1998. "The effect of school quality on educational attainment and wages," IFS Working Papers W98/03, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    3. 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.
    4. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1997. "Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed the Labor Market?," NBER Working Papers 5956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Eide, Eric & Brewer, Dominic J. & Ehrenberg, Ronald G., 1998. "Does it pay to attend an elite private college? Evidence on the effects of undergraduate college quality on graduate school attendance," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 371-376, October.
    6. Bound, John & Johnson, George, 1992. "Changes in the Structure of Wages in the 1980's: An Evaluation of Alternative Explanations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 371-92, June.
    7. Dan A. Black & Jeffrey A. Smith, 2006. "Estimating the Returns to College Quality with Multiple Proxies for Quality," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 701-728, July.
    8. 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.
    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. Paul Wachtel, 1975. "The Effect of School Quality on Achievement, Attainment Levels, and Lifetime Earnings," NBER Chapters, in: Explorations in Economic Research, Volume 2, number 4, pages 502-536 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Mark Hoekstra, 2009. "The Effect of Attending the Flagship State University on Earnings: A Discontinuity-Based Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(4), pages 717-724, November.
    12. Daniel, K. & Black, D. & Smith, J., 1997. "College Quality and the Wages of Young Men," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9707, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
    13. Michael J. Hilmer, 2002. "Human Capital Attainment, University Quality, and Entry-Level Wages for College Transfer Students," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 457-469, October.
    14. 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.
    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. 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.
    17. Long, Mark C., 2008. "College quality and early adult outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 588-602, October.
    18. 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.
    19. Catherine Ross & John Mirowsky, 1999. "Refining the association between education and health: The effects of quantity, credential, and selectivity," Demography, Springer, vol. 36(4), pages 445-460, November.
    20. Jeff Grogger & Eric Eide, 1995. "Changes in College Skills and the Rise in the College Wage Premium," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(2), pages 280-310.
    21. 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.
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