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The effect of college curriculum on earnings: An affinity identifier for non-ignorable non-response bias

  • Hamermesh, Daniel S.
  • Donald, Stephen G.

We link information on graduates from many cohorts to their high-school and college records and demographics to infer the impact of college major on earnings. We develop an estimator to handle potential non-response bias and identify non-response using an affinity measure--the potential respondent's link to the survey organization. This technique is generally applicable for adjusting for unit non-response. In the earnings model estimated using the identified (for non-response bias) selectivity adjustments, adjusted earnings differentials across college majors are below half as large as unadjusted differentials and ten percent smaller than those that do not account for selective non-response.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Econometrics.

Volume (Year): 144 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 479-491

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Handle: RePEc:eee:econom:v:144:y:2008:i:2:p:479-491
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jeconom

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  1. Jeffrey E. Zabel, 1998. "An Analysis of Attrition in the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and the Survey of Income and Program Participation with an Application to a Model of Labor Market Behavior," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(2), pages 479-506.
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  7. Sarah E. Turner & William G. Bowen, 1999. "Choice of major: The changing (unchanging) gender gap," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 52(2), pages 289-313, January.
  8. John C. Ham, 1980. "Estimation of a Labour Supply Model with Censoring Due to Unemployment and Underemployment," Working Papers 521, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
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  12. 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.
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  18. Bronars, Stephen G & Grogger, Jeff, 1994. "The Economic Consequences of Unwed Motherhood: Using Twin Births as a Natural Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1141-56, December.
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