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The effect of uncertain returns on human capital investment patterns


  • James Monks


This paper formalizes a human capital model with a dynamic and uncertain rental rate of human capital. As a result, investment in human capital may no longer decline monotonically over time as is predicted by the standard Ben-Porath version of the human capital model. This model provides a plausible, theoretical explanation for the recent trend of investment in higher education later in the life cycle which is consistent with the empirically established, increasing returns to education. Copyright International Atlantic Economic Society 1998

Suggested Citation

  • James Monks, 1998. "The effect of uncertain returns on human capital investment patterns," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 26(4), pages 413-419, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:atlecj:v:26:y:1998:i:4:p:413-419
    DOI: 10.1007/BF02299453

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Altonji, Joseph G, 1993. "The Demand for and Return to Education When Education Outcomes Are Uncertain," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(1), pages 48-83, January.
    2. Polachek, Solomon William, 1975. "Differences in Expected Post-school Investments as a Determinant of Market Wage Differentials," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 16(2), pages 451-470, June.
    3. Light, Audrey, 1995. "Hazard model estimates of the decision to reenroll in school," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 381-406, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:joecag:v:7:y:2016:i:c:p:69-86 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Anders Stenberg & Xavier Luna & Olle Westerlund, 2012. "Can adult education delay retirement from the labour market?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 25(2), pages 677-696, January.
    3. Stenberg, Anders & Westerlund, Olle, 2016. "Flexibility at a cost – Should governments stimulate tertiary education for adults?," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 7(C), pages 69-86.
    4. Anders Stenberg & Olle Westerlund, 2013. "Education and retirement: does University education at mid-age extend working life?," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 2(1), pages 1-22, December.

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