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Zvi Griliches' Contribution to the Theory of Human Capital

In: Contributions in Memory of Zvi Griliches

  • Reuben Gronau

The paper discusses Zvi Griliches' contribution to the estimation of the earning function. The topic was the central theme of Griliches' research agenda during the 70s. Griliches played a major role in the ability- schooling controversy of the time. He was instrumental in repelling the attack of the revisionists' on the Theory of Human Capital, and the claim that the schooling effect in the earning function is merely an artifact of the true ability' and family background' effects. Griliches lacked at the time the proper data to prove unequivocally that the ability bias plays only a minor role in the estimation of the rate of return to schooling. He was, however, able to show that the seemingly foolproof evidence of his opponents suffers from serious biases due to the endogeneity and the measurement errors in the schooling variable. His assertion that the standard OLS estimator is biased downward, rather than upward, has been shown true by future research.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Jacques Mairesse & Manuel Trajtenberg, 2010. "Contributions in Memory of Zvi Griliches," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number mair10-1, May.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 12236.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:12236
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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    1. Yoram Ben-Porath, 1967. "The Production of Human Capital and the Life Cycle of Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 352.
    2. Milton Friedman & Simon Kuznets, 1954. "Income from Independent Professional Practice," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie54-1, May.
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    4. Lillard, Lee A, 1977. "Inequality: Earnings vs. Human Wealth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 42-53, March.
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    7. Blaug, Mark, 1976. "The Empirical Status of Human Capital Theory: A Slightly Jaundiced Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 827-55, September.
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    9. F. Thomas Juster, 1964. "Introduction and Summary," NBER Chapters, in: Anticipations and Purchases: An Analysis of Consumer Behavior, pages 3-16 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. David Card & Alan B. Krueger, 1996. "School Resources and Student Outcomes: An Overview of the Literature and New Evidence from North and South Carolina," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 31-50, Fall.
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    14. Griliches, Zvi, 1979. "Sibling Models and Data in Economics: Beginnings of a Survey," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages S37-64, October.
    15. Chamberlain, Gary & Griliches, Zvi, 1975. "Unobservables with a Variance-Components Structure: Ability, Schooling, and the Economic Success of Brothers," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 16(2), pages 422-49, June.
    16. Katz, Lawrence F. & Autor, David H., 1999. "Changes in the wage structure and earnings inequality," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1463-1555 Elsevier.
    17. Paul J. Taubman & Terence Wales, 1974. "Higher Education and Earnings: College as an Investment and Screening Device," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number taub74-1, May.
    18. Willis, Robert J & Rosen, Sherwin, 1979. "Education and Self-Selection," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages S7-36, October.
    19. Riley, John G, 1979. "Testing the Educational Screening Hypothesis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages S227-52, October.
    20. Spence, A Michael, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-74, August.
    21. Behrman, Jere R. & Rosenzweig, Mark R., 1999. ""Ability" biases in schooling returns and twins: a test and new estimates," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 159-167, April.
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    23. Behrman, Jere R & Birdsall, Nancy, 1985. "The Quality of Schooling: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 1202-05, December.
    24. Griliches, Zvi, 1976. "Wages of Very Young Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages S69-85, August.
    25. 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, .
    26. Parsons, Donald O, 1972. "Specific Human Capital: An Application to Quit Rates and Layoff Rates," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(6), pages 1120-43, Nov.-Dec..
    27. Hause, John C, 1972. "Earnings Profile: Ability and Schooling," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(3), pages S108-S38, Part II, .
    28. Paul Taubman & Terence Wales, 1975. "Education as an Investment and a Screening Device," NBER Chapters, in: Education, Income, and Human Behavior, pages 95-122 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    29. Zvi Griliches, 1970. "Notes on the Role of Education in Production Functions and Growth Accounting," NBER Chapters, in: Education, Income, and Human Capital, pages 71-127 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    30. F. Thomas Juster, 1975. "Education, Income, and Human Behavior," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number just75-1, May.
    31. Neumark, David, 1999. "Biases in twin estimates of the return to schooling," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 143-148, April.
    32. Zvi Griliches, 1967. "Production Functions in Manufacturing: Some Preliminary Results," NBER Chapters, in: The Theory and Empirical Analysis of Production, pages 275-340 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    33. Behrman, Jere R & Rosenzweig, Mark R & Taubman, Paul, 1994. "Endowments and the Allocation of Schooling in the Family and in the Marriage Market: The Twins Experiment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(6), pages 1131-74, December.
    34. Bound, John & Griliches, Zvi & Hall, Bronwyn H, 1986. "Wages, Schooling and IQ of Brothers and Sisters: Do the Family Factors Differ?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(1), pages 77-105, February.
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