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Returns to Education: New Evidence for India, 1983-1999


  • Puja Vasudeva Dutta


This paper estimates the returns to education for adult male workers in regular and casual wage employment using Indian national survey data at three points in time spanning almost two decades. Both standard and augmented Mincerian wage equations are estimated using a set of human capital measures and other controls after addressing the issue of potential selection bias. This paper finds that the returns to education are significantly different for the two types of workers—while casual workers face at best flat returns to education, the returns to education for regular workers are positive and U-shaped with respect to education levels. There is also some evidence of a widening wage gap between regular workers with graduate and primary education that could possibly be a consequence of trade liberalization and other reforms pursued during the 1990s.

Suggested Citation

  • Puja Vasudeva Dutta, 2006. "Returns to Education: New Evidence for India, 1983-1999," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(4), pages 431-451.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:edecon:v:14:y:2006:i:4:p:431-451 DOI: 10.1080/09645290600854128

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Vegard Iversen & Adriaan Kalwij & Arjan Verschoor & Amaresh Dubey, 2014. "Caste Dominance and Economic Performance in Rural India," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62(3), pages 423-457.
    2. Azam, Mehtabul, 2012. "Changes in Wage Structure in Urban India, 1983–2004: A Quantile Regression Decomposition," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1135-1150.
    3. Geeta Kingdon & Nicolas Theopold, 2006. "Do returns to education matter to schooling participation?," Economics Series Working Papers GPRG-WPS-052, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    4. Pieters, Janneke, 2010. "Education and household inequality change: a decomposition analysis for India," GGDC Research Memorandum GD-114, Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen.
    5. Anuneeta Mitra, 2016. "Education and earning linkages of regular and casual workers in India: a quantile regression approach," Journal of Social and Economic Development, Springer;Institute for Social and Economic Change, vol. 18(1), pages 147-174, October.
    6. M. Niaz Asadullah & Uma Kambhampati & Florencia Lopez Boo, 2014. "Social divisions in school participation and attainment in India: 1983–2004," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(4), pages 869-893.
    7. BHARADWAJ, Prachant & LAKDAWALA, Leah K. & LI, Nicholas, 2016. "Perverse Consequences Of Well-Intentioned Regulation: Evidence From India’S Child Labor Ban," Discussion paper series HIAS-E-25, Hitotsubashi Institute for Advanced Study, Hitotsubashi University.
    8. Takahiro Ito, 2009. "Education and Its Distributional Impacts on Living Standards," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd09-080, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    9. repec:dgr:rugggd:gd-114 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Mehtabul Azam & Vipul Bhatt, 2015. "Like Father, Like Son? Intergenerational Educational Mobility in India," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 52(6), pages 1929-1959, December.
    11. Escobal, Javier & Flores, Eva, 2009. "Maternal Migration and Child Well-Being in Peru," MPRA Paper 56463, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Tushar Agrawal, 2011. "Returns to education in India: Some recent evidence," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2011-017, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
    13. Asuyama, Yoko, 2015. "Skill sorting and production chains : evidence from India," IDE Discussion Papers 545, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
    14. Javier Escobal & Eva Flores, 2009. "Maternal Migration and Child Well-being in Peru(Migración materna y bienestar infantil en el Perú)," Documentos de Trabajo (Niños del Milenio-GRADE) ninosm56, Niños del Milenio (Young Lives).
    15. Prabir Bhattacharya & Takahiro Sato, 2017. "Estimating Regional Returns to Education in India," Discussion Paper Series DP2017-09, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
    16. Chatterji, Monojit, 2008. "Education and Economic Development in India," SIRE Discussion Papers 2008-12, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    17. Kamal Vatta & Takahiro Sato, 2012. "Indian Labour Markets and Returns to Education, 1983 to 2009-10," Discussion Paper Series DP2012-33, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.

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    Rate of return; human capital; India;


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