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Estimating the Return to Endogenous Schooling Decisions via Conditional Second Moments


  • Roger Klein
  • Francis Vella


This paper employs conditional second moments to identify the impact of education in wage regressions where education is treated as endogenous. This approach avoids the use of instrumental variables in a setting where instruments are frequently not available. We employ this methodology to estimate the returns to schooling for a sample of Australian workers. We find that accounting for the endogeneity of education in this manner increases the estimated return to education from 6 percent to 10 percent.

Suggested Citation

  • Roger Klein & Francis Vella, 2009. "Estimating the Return to Endogenous Schooling Decisions via Conditional Second Moments," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(4).
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:44:y:2009:i4:p1047-1065

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Leigh, Andrew & Ryan, Chris, 2008. "Estimating returns to education using different natural experiment techniques," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 149-160, April.
    2. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Keueger, 1991. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 979-1014.
    3. Rummery, Sarah & Vella, Francis & Verbeek, Marno, 1999. "Estimating the returns to education for Australian youth via rank-order instrumental variables," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 491-507, November.
    4. Vella, Francis & Gregory, R. G., 1996. "Selection bias and human capital investment: Estimating the rates of return to education for young males," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 197-219, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Figueirêdo, Erik Alencar de & Nogueira, Lauro César Bezerra & Santana, Fernanda Leite, 2014. "Igualdade de Oportunidades: Analisando o papel das circunstâncias no desempenho do ENEM," Revista Brasileira de Economia - RBE, FGV/EPGE - Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil), vol. 68(3), September.
    2. repec:fgv:epgrbe:v:68:n:3:a:5 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Millimet, Daniel L. & Roy, Jayjit, 2011. "Three New Empirical Tests of the Pollution Haven Hypothesis When Environmental Regulation is Endogenous," IZA Discussion Papers 5911, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Buscha, Franz & Dickson, Matt, 2015. "The Wage Returns to Education over the Life-Cycle: Heterogeneity and the Role of Experience," IZA Discussion Papers 9596, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Denny, Kevin & Oppedisano, Veruska, 2013. "The surprising effect of larger class sizes: Evidence using two identification strategies," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 57-65.
    6. repec:spr:cliomt:v:12:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11698-016-0149-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:58:y:2017:i:c:p:108-122 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Lídia Farré & Roger Klein & Francis Vella, 2013. "A parametric control function approach to estimating the returns to schooling in the absence of exclusion restrictions: an application to the NLSY," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 111-133, February.
    9. Chau, Tak Wai, 2015. "Identification through Heteroscedasticity: What If We Have the Wrong Form of Heteroscedasticity?," MPRA Paper 65888, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. repec:bla:indres:v:56:y:2017:i:3:p:459-488 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. repec:afc:cliome:v:12:y:2018:i:1:p:61-97 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Saniter, Nils, 2012. "Estimating Heterogeneous Returns to Education in Germany via Conditional Second Moments," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62050, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    13. A. Bergeaud & G. Cette & R. Lecat, 2016. "The role of production factor quality and technology diffusion in 20th century productivity growth," Working papers 588, Banque de France.

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