Can education compensate for low ability? Evidence from British data
This article investigates whether the returns to education vary with the level of cognitive ability. Unlike much of the literature, this article finds that the return to schooling is lower for those with higher cognitive ability indicating that education can act as a substitute for observed ability. Using quantile regressions we also find that, again unlike most of the literature, returns are higher at lower quintiles of the conditional earnings distribution. This suggests that education is also a substitute for unobserved ability. The policy implications are that increasing education in general and particularly for those with lower ability should reduce income inequality.
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Volume (Year): 14 (2007)
Issue (Month): 9 ()
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References listed on IDEAS
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- McKinley L. Blackburn & David Neumark, 1991.
"Omitted-Ability Bias and the Increase in the Return to Schooling,"
NBER Working Papers
3693, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Blackburn, McKinley L & Neumark, David, 1993. "Omitted-Ability Bias and the Increase in the Return to Schooling," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(3), pages 521-44, July.
- Tobias, J.L., 2000.
"Are Return to Schooling Concentrated Among the Most Able? A Semiparametric Analysis of the Ability-Earnings Relationship,"
00-01-12, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
- Tobias, Justin, 2001. "Are Returns to Schooling Concentrated Among the Most Able? A Semiparametric Analysis of the Ability-Earnings Relationships," Staff General Research Papers 12016, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
- John Cawley & James Heckman & Edward Vytlacil, 1998. "Understanding the Role of Cognitive Ability in Accounting for the Recent Rise in the Economic Return to Education," NBER Working Papers 6388, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Melissa Osborne & Herbert Gintis & Samuel Bowles, 2001. "The Determinants of Earnings: A Behavioral Approach," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1137-1176, December.
- Carneiro, Pedro & Heckman, James J., 2003.
"Human Capital Policy,"
IZA Discussion Papers
821, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Griliches, Zvi & Mason, William M, 1972. "Education, Income, and Ability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(3), pages S74-S103, Part II, .
- Dearden, Lorraine, 1999. "The effects of families and ability on men's education and earnings in Britain1," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 551-567, November.
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