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Measuring the Consumption Value of Higher Education

  • Annette Alstadsæter

This article argues that the consumption value of education is an important motivation for educational choice. When controlling for ability, we find that individuals are willing to forego substantial future wage returns to acquire a particular type of higher education. We find that high-ability individuals who attended teachers' college in Norway during the 1960s could have substantially increased their lifetime income by choosing an alternative educational type. Moreover, the ex post price for the consumption value of teachers' college turned out to be even higher than the estimated ex ante willingness to pay for this consumption value. (JEL codes: J24, J31, J33, I21, H89) Copyright The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Ifo Institute for Economic Research, Munich. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com, Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by CESifo in its journal CESifo Economic Studies.

Volume (Year): 57 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 458-479

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Handle: RePEc:oup:cesifo:v:57:y:2011:i:3:p:458-479
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  8. A. Lans Bovenberg & Bas Jacobs, 2005. "Redistribution and Education Subsidies are Siamese Twins," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-036/3, Tinbergen Institute.
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  12. Kodde, David A & Ritzen, Jozef M M, 1984. "Integrating Consumption and Investment Motives in a Neoclassical Model of Demand for Education," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(4), pages 598-608.
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  14. Alstadsí¦ter, Annette & Kolm, Ann-Sofie & Larsen, Birthe, 2008. "Money or joy: The choice of educational type," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 107-122, March.
  15. Dolton, P J & Makepeace, G H & Van Der Klaauw, W, 1989. "Occupational Choice and Earnings Determination: The Role of Sample Selection and Non-pecuniary Factors," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(3), pages 573-94, July.
  16. Thomas N. Daymonti & Paul J. Andrisani, 1984. "Job Preferences, College Major, and the Gender Gap in Earnings," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 19(3), pages 408-428.
  17. Loury, Linda Datcher & Garman, David, 1995. "College Selectivity and Earnings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 289-308, April.
  18. Arcidiacono, Peter, 2004. "Ability sorting and the returns to college major," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 343-375.
  19. Fredriksson, Peter, 1997. " Economic Incentives and the Demand for Higher Education," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 99(1), pages 129-42, March.
  20. Bowles, Samuel, 1972. "Schooling and Inequality from Generation to Generation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(3), pages S219-S51, Part II, .
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  22. Edward T. Gullason, 1989. "The Consumption Value of Schooling: An Empirical Estimate of One Aspect," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(2), pages 287-298.
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