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Does the choice of reference levels of education matter in the ORU earnings equation?

  • Chiswick, Barry R.
  • Miller, Paul W.

This paper examines whether the results of the earnings equation developed in the over-education/required education/under-education (ORU) literature are sensitive to whether the usual or reference levels of education are measured using the Realized Matches or Worker Self-Assessment methods. The analyses are conducted for all male native-born and immigrant workers in the US, by level of skill, and by occupation. While point estimates differ, particularly when earnings equations are estimated for the smaller samples of sub-groups of the workforce, the general findings are robust to this measurement issue. Thus, the answers provided to the typical research questions in the ORU literature on the productivity of schooling are independent of the measure of the usual or reference level of education used in the analyses.

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

Volume (Year): 29 (2010)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
Pages: 1076-1085

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:29:y:2010:i:6:p:1076-1085
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev

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  1. Russell W. Rumberger, 1987. "The Impact of Surplus Schooling on Productivity and Earnings," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 22(1), pages 24-50.
  2. Paul W. Miller & Barry R. Chiswick, 2006. "Why is the Payoff to Schooling Smaller for Immigrants?," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 06-03, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
  3. Richard R. Verdugo & Naomi Turner Verdugo, 1989. "The Impact of Surplus Schooling on Earnings: Some Additional Findings," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(4), pages 629-643.
  4. Stephen Rubb, 2003. "Post-College Schooling, Overeducation, and Hourly Earnings in the United States," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(1), pages 53-72.
  5. Kiker, B. F. & Santos, Maria C. & de Oliveira, M. Mendes, 1997. "Overeducation and undereducation: Evidence for Portugal," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 111-125, April.
  6. van der Meer, Peter H., 2006. "The validity of two education requirement measures," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 211-219, April.
  7. Vahey, Shaun P., 2000. "The great Canadian training robbery: evidence on the returns to educational mismatch," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 219-227, April.
  8. Hartog, Joop, 2000. "Over-education and earnings: where are we, where should we go?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 131-147, April.
  9. Duncan, Greg J. & Hoffman, Saul D., 1981. "The incidence and wage effects of overeducation," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 75-86, February.
  10. Parvinder Kler, 2005. "Graduate overeducation in Australia: A comparison of the mean and objective methods," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(1), pages 47-72.
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