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Human Capital, Uncertain Wage Distributions, and Occupational and Educational Choices

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  • Orazem, Peter F
  • Mattila, J Peter

Abstract

This study develops a model of occupational and educational choices. Individuals are assumed to choose careers based on expected utility maximization, given uncertainty concerning future earnings. The model directly leads to estimable equations relating career choices to the moments of occupational earnings distributions. The authors report maximum likelihood estimates using a sample of high school graduates from Maryland school districts, 1951-69. The eight observed career choices respond as expected to the first and second moments of the earnings distribution and to a measure of school quality. Reasonable estimates of human capital production and supply elasticities are obtained for the career choices. Copyright 1991 by Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Orazem, Peter F & Mattila, J Peter, 1991. "Human Capital, Uncertain Wage Distributions, and Occupational and Educational Choices," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 32(1), pages 103-122, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:32:y:1991:i:1:p:103-22
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Shell, Karl, 1971. "Notes on the Economics of Infinity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(5), pages 1002-1011, Sept.-Oct.
    2. Balasko, Yves & Shell, Karl, 1980. "The overlapping-generations model, I: The case of pure exchange without money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 281-306, December.
    3. Galor, Oded, 1988. "The Long-run Implications of a Hicks-Neutral Technical Progress," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 29(1), pages 177-183, February.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Morris M. Kleiner & Robert T. Kudrle, 1992. "Do Tougher Licensing Provisions Limit Occupational Entry? The Case of Dentistry," NBER Working Papers 3984, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Harris Dellas & Plutarchos Sakellaris, 2003. "On the cyclicality of schooling: theory and evidence," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(1), pages 148-172, January.
    3. Konrad, Kai A. & Kovenock, Dan, 2012. "The lifeboat problem," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 552-559.
    4. Dellas, Harris & Koubi, Vally, 2003. "Business cycles and schooling," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 843-859, November.
    5. Sjögren, Anna, 1998. "The Effects of Redistribution on Occupational Choice and Intergenerational Mobility: Does Wage Equality Nail the Cobbler to His Last?," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 239, Stockholm School of Economics.
    6. Terrance M. Hurley & James B. Kliebenstein & Peter F. Orazem, 2000. "An Analysis of Occupational Health in Pork Production," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(2), pages 323-333.
    7. Yu, Li & Orazem, Peter F. & Jolly, Robert W., 2014. "Entrepreneurship over the business cycle," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 122(2), pages 105-110.
    8. Sjögren, Anna, 2000. "Redistribution, Occupational Choice and Intergenerational Mobility: Does Wage Equality Nail the Cobbler to His Last?," Working Paper Series 538, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    9. Sjögren, Anna, 2000. "Occupational Choice and Incentives: The Role of Family Background," Working Paper Series 539, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    10. Jasmina Behan & Mark O’ Brien, 2008. "Assessing the availability of off-farm employment and farmers’ training needs," Working Papers 0805, Rural Economy and Development Programme,Teagasc.
    11. Polachek, Solomon W., 2008. "Earnings Over the Life Cycle: The Mincer Earnings Function and Its Applications," Foundations and Trends(R) in Microeconomics, now publishers, vol. 4(3), pages 165-272, April.
    12. repec:lan:wpaper:4356 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Donald Jud & Daniel T. Winkler, 1999. "A Model of Real Estate Sales as a Career Choice," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 18(3), pages 481-490.
    14. repec:lan:wpaper:4484 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Byung Park, 2010. "What matters to managerial knowledge acquisition in international joint ventures? High knowledge acquirers versus low knowledge acquirers," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 55-79, March.
    16. A Aggarwal & R Freguglia & G Johnes & G Spricigo, 2011. "Education and labour market outcomes : evidence from India," Working Papers 615663, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    17. Minicozzi, Alexandra, 2005. "The short term effect of educational debt on job decisions," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 417-430, August.
    18. repec:lan:wpaper:4355 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Ham, Roger & Junankar, Pramod N. (Raja) & Wells, Robert, 2009. "Occupational Choice: Personality Matters," IZA Discussion Papers 4105, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    20. Collard, Fabrice & Dellas, Harris, 1999. "Cyclical Risk, Sectoral Allocations and Growth," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 125-134, January.
    21. repec:lan:wpaper:4789 is not listed on IDEAS

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