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

  • Luis Díaz-Serrano

    (Universitat Rovira i Virgili, IZA)

  • Joop Hartog

    (FEE-SCHOLAR, Universiteit van Amsterdam)

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.

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Article provided by Fundación SEPI in its journal Investigaciones Economicas.

Volume (Year): 30 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 353-380

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Handle: RePEc:iec:inveco:v:30:y:2006:i:2:p:353-380
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
  4. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
  5. 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.
  6. Jeff Dominitz & Charles F. Manski, 1994. "Eliciting Student Expectations of the Returns to Schooling," NBER Working Papers 4936, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
  8. 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).
  9. Murphy, Kevin M & Topel, Robert H, 1985. "Estimation and Inference in Two-Step Econometric Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(4), pages 370-79, October.
  10. 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.
  11. Allan G. King, 1974. "Occupational choice, risk aversion, and wealth," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 27(4), pages 586-596, July.
  12. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1991. "Loss Aversion in Riskless Choice: A Reference-Dependent Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1039-61, November.
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