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College risk and return

Listed author(s):
  • Gonzalo Castex

    (Banco Central de Chile)

A large number of studies report high returns to college education. However, a large fraction of high school graduates do not pursue higher education. To reconcile these facts, I develop a heterogeneous agent life-cycle model with endogenous college enrollment and uninsurable risk of college completion. The risk of failing to complete college explains 14% (18%) of returns to a 4-year (2-year) college. Risk premium varies with individual ability and family income. Using the model, I analyze how costs and benefits of college education affect enrollments and dropouts. Model predictions are consistent with trends in enrollment and dropout observed in the data and findings in related literature. (Copyright: Elsevier)

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.red.2017.03.002
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Article provided by Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics in its journal Review of Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 26 (2017)
Issue (Month): (October)
Pages: 91-112

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Handle: RePEc:red:issued:15-118
DOI: 10.1016/j.red.2017.03.002
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Marina Azzimonti, Department of Economics, Stonybrook University, 10 Nicolls Road, Stonybrook NY 11790 USA

Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/red/
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  1. Akyol, Ahmet & Athreya, Kartik, 2005. "Risky higher education and subsidies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 979-1023, June.
  2. Carneiro, Pedro & Heckman, James J & Masterov, Dimitriy V, 2005. "Labor Market Discrimination and Racial Differences in Premarket Factors," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(1), pages 1-39, April.
  3. Diego Restuccia & Carlos Urrutia, 2004. "Intergenerational Persistence of Earnings: The Role of Early and College Education," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1354-1378, December.
  4. Philippe Belley & Lance Lochner, 2007. "The Changing Role of Family Income and Ability in Determining Educational Achievement," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 37-89.
  5. Carlos Garriga & Mark P. Keightley, 2007. "A general equilibrium theory of college with education subsidies, in-school labor supply, and borrowing constraints," Working Papers 2007-051, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  6. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
  7. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 2007. "The Race between Education and Technology: The Evolution of U.S. Educational Wage Differentials, 1890 to 2005," NBER Working Papers 12984, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  9. Felicia Ionescu, 2009. "The Federal Student Loan Program: Quantitative Implications for College Enrollment and Default Rates," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(1), pages 205-231, January.
  10. Card, David, 2001. "Estimating the Return to Schooling: Progress on Some Persistent Econometric Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(5), pages 1127-1160, September.
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