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

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

Abstract

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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  • Hamermesh, Daniel S. & Donald, Stephen G., 2008. "The effect of college curriculum on earnings: An affinity identifier for non-ignorable non-response bias," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 144(2), pages 479-491, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:econom:v:144:y:2008:i:2:p:479-491
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Christopher R. Bollinger & Barry T. Hirsch, 2013. "Is Earnings Nonresponse Ignorable?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(2), pages 407-416, May.
    2. Susan Dynarski & Joshua Hyman & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2013. "Experimental Evidence on the Effect of Childhood Investments on Postsecondary Attainment and Degree Completion," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 32(4), pages 692-717, September.
    3. Lars Kirkebøen & Edwin Leuven & Magne Mogstad, 2014. "Field of Study, Earnings, and Self-Selection," NBER Working Papers 20816, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Di Paolo, Antonio & Tansel, Aysit, 2017. "Analyzing Wage Differentials by Fields of Study: Evidence from Turkey," GLO Discussion Paper Series 91, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    5. Bertoli, S. & Fernández-Huertas Moraga, J. & Ortega, F., 2013. "Crossing the border: Self-selection, earnings and individual migration decisions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 75-91.
    6. Rodney J. Andrews & Scott A. Imberman & Michael F. Lovenheim, 2017. "Risky Business? The Effect of Majoring in Business on Earnings and Educational Attainment," NBER Working Papers 23575, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Ralph Stinebrickner & Todd R. Stinebrickner, 2014. "A Major in Science? Initial Beliefs and Final Outcomes for College Major and Dropout," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(1), pages 426-472.
    8. Nicolas Ziebarth & Martin Gervais, 2017. "Life after Debt: Post-Graduation Consequences of Federal Student Loans," 2017 Meeting Papers 238, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    9. Gevrek, Deniz & Gevrek, Z. Eylem, 2010. "Nepotism, incentives and the academic success of college students," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 581-591, June.
    10. Xia, Xiaoyu, 2016. "Forming wage expectations through learning: Evidence from college major choices," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 132(PA), pages 176-196.
    11. Bradley, Elizabeth S., 2012. "The Effect of the Business Cycle on Freshman Major Choice," MPRA Paper 42412, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Webber, Douglas A., 2014. "The lifetime earnings premia of different majors: Correcting for selection based on cognitive, noncognitive, and unobserved factors," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 14-23.
    13. Fricke, Hans & Grogger, Jeff & Steinmayr, Andreas, 2015. "Does Exposure to Economics Bring New Majors to the Field? Evidence from a Natural Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 9003, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    14. Arcidiacono, Peter & Hotz, V. Joseph & Kang, Songman, 2012. "Modeling college major choices using elicited measures of expectations and counterfactuals," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 166(1), pages 3-16.
    15. Cho, Sungjin & Kam, Jihye & Lee, Soohyung, 2017. "Efficient Supply of Human Capital: Role of College Major," IZA Discussion Papers 10610, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    16. Hilmer, Michael J. & Hilmer, Christiana E., 2012. "On the relationship between student tastes and motivations, higher education decisions, and annual earnings," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 66-75.
    17. Ernest Berkhout & Peter Berkhout & Dinand Webbink, 2011. "The Effects of a Dutch High School Curriculum Reform on Performance in and After Higher Education," De Economist, Springer, vol. 159(1), pages 41-61, March.
    18. Christopher R. Bollinger & Barry T. Hirsch, 2010. "GDP & Beyond – die europäische Perspektive," Working Paper Series of the German Council for Social and Economic Data 165, German Council for Social and Economic Data (RatSWD).
    19. Webber, Douglas A., 2016. "Are college costs worth it? How ability, major, and debt affect the returns to schooling," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 296-310.
    20. Heng Chen & Geoffrey R. Dunbar & Rallye Shen, 2017. "The Mode is the Message: Using Predata as Exclusion Restrictions to Evaluate Survey Design," Staff Working Papers 17-43, Bank of Canada.

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