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Is there a risk-return trade-off in educational choices? Evidence from Spain

Author

Listed:
  • Luis Díaz-Serrano

    (Universitat Rovira i Virgili, IZA)

  • Joop Hartog

    (FEE-SCHOLAR, Universiteit van Amsterdam)

Abstract

We use data from Spain to test for an effect of earnings variance and skewness on individual wages. We carry out separate estimations for men and women. In accordance with the scant previous evidence mainly focused on the US, we report the existence of a risk-return trade-off across educational choices in the Spanish labor market. These results are in conformity with preferences of risk-averse individuals with decreasing absolute risk aversion and hence, with preference for skewness. In contrast with the previous literature, our analysis is based just in education cells, instead of on occupation or occupation/education cells. This improvement allows us to capture in a more suitable way the essence of earnings risk.

Suggested Citation

  • Luis Díaz-Serrano & Joop Hartog, 2006. "Is there a risk-return trade-off in educational choices? Evidence from Spain," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 30(2), pages 353-380, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:iec:inveco:v:30:y:2006:i:2:p:353-380
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hartog, Joop & Vijverberg, Wim P., 2002. "Do Wages Really Compensate for Risk Aversion and Skewness Affection?," IZA Discussion Papers 426, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Jeff Dominitz & Charles F. Manski, 1996. "Eliciting Student Expectations of the Returns to Schooling," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(1), pages 1-26.
    3. Luis Diaz-Serrano & Joop Hartog & Helena Skyt Nielsen, 2008. "Compensating Wage Differentials for Schooling Risk in Denmark," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(4), pages 711-731, December.
    4. James J. Heckman, 1976. "The Common Structure of Statistical Models of Truncation, Sample Selection and Limited Dependent Variables and a Simple Estimator for Such Models," NBER Chapters,in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 5, number 4, pages 475-492 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Garrett, Thomas A. & Sobel, Russell S., 1999. "Gamblers favor skewness, not risk: Further evidence from United States' lottery games," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 85-90, April.
    6. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    7. Murphy, Kevin M & Topel, Robert H, 2002. "Estimation and Inference in Two-Step Econometric Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(1), pages 88-97, January.
    8. Joseph Golec & Maurry Tamarkin, 1998. "Bettors Love Skewness, Not Risk, at the Horse Track," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(1), pages 205-225, February.
    9. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1991. "Loss Aversion in Riskless Choice: A Reference-Dependent Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1039-1061.
    10. John M. Abowd & Orley C. Ashenfelter, 1981. "Anticipated Unemployment, Temporary Layoffs, and Compensating Wage Differentials," NBER Chapters,in: Studies in Labor Markets, pages 141-170 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Diaz-Serrano, Luis, 2006. "Housing Satisfaction, Homeownership and Housing Mobility: A Panel Data Analysis for Twelve EU Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 2318, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Asma Hyder & Jere R. Behrman, 2011. "Schooling is Associated not only with Longrun Wages, but also with Wage Risks and Disability Risks: The Pakistani Experience," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 50(4), pages 555-573.
    3. Bas Jacobs & Joop Hartog & Wim Vijverberg, 2009. "Self-selection bias in estimated wage premiums for earnings risk," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 271-286, October.
    4. Shelest Olena, 2015. "Risk of Investments in Human Capital and Expected Worker Mobility," International Journal of Management and Economics, De Gruyter Open, vol. 47(1), pages 82-106, September.
    5. Hartog, Joop & Vijverberg, Wim, 2007. "Schools, skills and risk," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 758-770, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Risk-aversion; skewness affection; educational choices; compensating wage differentials;

    JEL classification:

    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty

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