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Education Policy Reform and the Return to Schooling from Instrumental Variables

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  • Denny, Kevin
  • Harmon, Colm

Abstract

This paper exploits an unusual policy reform that had the effect of reducing the direct cost of schooling in Ireland in the late 1960’s. This gave rise to an increased level of schooling but with effects that vary substantially across family background. This interaction of educational reform and family background generates a set of instrumental variables that are used to estimate the return to schooling allowing for the endogeneity of schooling. Using a standard Mincer type model we find a large and well-determined rate of return of around 12% which is substantially higher than the OLS estimates of around 7%.

Suggested Citation

  • Denny, Kevin & Harmon, Colm, 2000. "Education Policy Reform and the Return to Schooling from Instrumental Variables," CEPR Discussion Papers 2518, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2518
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Imbens, G. & Angrist, J.D., 1992. "Average Causal Response with Variable Treatment Intensity," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1611, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    2. Kling, Jeffrey R, 2001. "Interpreting Instrumental Variables Estimates of the Returns to Schooling," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 19(3), pages 358-364, July.
    3. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-766, May.
    4. Colm Harmon; & Ian Walker, 1995. "Estimates of Economic Return to Schooling in the UK," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n540195, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
    5. Tussing, A. Dale, 1978. "Irish Educational Expenditures - Past, Present, and Future," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number GRS92.
    6. Callan, Tim & Harmon, Colm, 1999. "The economic return to schooling in Ireland," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 543-550, November.
    7. David Card, 1993. "Using Geographic Variation in College Proximity to Estimate the Return to Schooling," Working Papers 696, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    8. Kakwani, Nanak, 1980. "On a Class of Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(2), pages 437-446, March.
    9. Davidson, Russell & MacKinnon, James G., 1993. "Estimation and Inference in Econometrics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195060119.
    10. Kevin Denny & Harmon, Harmon & Sandra Redmond, 2000. "Functional literacy, educational attainment and earnings - evidence from the international adult literacy survey," IFS Working Papers W00/09, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    11. Henry S. Farber & Jeffrey R. Kling & Alan Krueger, 1999. "Interpreting Instrumental Variables Estimates of the Returns to Schooling," Working Papers 794, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    12. Ashenfelter, Orley & Harmon, Colm & Oosterbeek, Hessel, 1999. "A review of estimates of the schooling/earnings relationship, with tests for publication bias," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 453-470, November.
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    14. Costas Meghir & Mårten Palme, 1999. "Assessing the effect of schooling on earnings using a social experiment," IFS Working Papers W99/10, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    15. Uusitalo, R. & Conneely, K., 1998. "Estimating Heterogeneous Treatment Effects in the Becker Schooling Model," University of Helsinki, Department of Economics 435, Department of Economics.
    16. repec:fth:prinin:425 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Callan, Tim & Wren, Anne, 1994. "Male-Female Wage Differentials: Analysis and Policy Issues," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number GRS163.
    18. Kevin Denny & Colm Harmon & Dorren McMahon & Sandra Redmond, 1999. "Literacy and Education in Ireland," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 30(3), pages 215-226.
    19. Lang, Kevin, 1993. "Ability Bias, Discount Rate Bias and the Return to Education," MPRA Paper 24651, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. 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.
    21. Harmon, Harmon & Ian Walker, 1995. "Estimates of the economic return to schooling for the UK," IFS Working Papers W95/12, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Andrea Mercatanti, 2008. "A likelihood-based analysis for relaxing the exclusion restriction in randomized experiments with imperfect compliance," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 683, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    2. Concetta, MENDOLICCHIO, 2006. "A Disaggregate Analysis of Private Returns to Education in Italy," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2006054, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
    3. Tjaša Bartolj & Aleš AhCan & Aljoša Feldin & Sašo Polanec, 2013. "Evolution of private returns to tertiary education during transition: evidence from Slovenia," Post-Communist Economies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(3), pages 407-424, September.
    4. Gudrun Biffl, 2002. "An International Comparison of Costs and Benefits of Education Systems," WIFO Monatsberichte (monthly reports), WIFO, vol. 75(6), pages 397-411, June.
    5. Colm Harmon & Hessel Oosterbeek & Ian Walker, 2000. "The returns to education : a review of evidence, issues and deficiencies in the literature," Open Access publications 10197/670, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    6. Angel de la Fuente & Antonio Ciccone, 2003. "Human capital in a global and knowledge-based economy," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 562.03, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
    7. Brunello, Giorgio & Fort, Margherita & Weber, Guglielmo, 2007. "“For One More Year with You”: Changes in Compulsory Schooling, Education and the Distribution of Wages in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 3102, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Empar Pons & Maria Teresa Gonzalo, 2001. "Returns to Schooling in Spain. How Reliable Are IV Estimates?," Working Papers 446, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
    9. Seamus McGuinness, 2003. "University quality and labour market outcomes," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(18), pages 1943-1955.
    10. Shandre M. Thangavelu & Hu Guangzhou, 2006. "Lessons from "benchmark" countries : Korea & Ireland," Labor Economics Working Papers 21820, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    11. Deng, Binbin, 2010. "Schooling and Wage Revisited: Does Higher IQ Really Give You Higher Income?," MPRA Paper 23206, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Chris Sakellariou, 2006. "Education policy reform, local average treatment effect and returns to schooling from instrumental variables in the Philippines," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(4), pages 473-481.
    13. repec:ris:apltrx:0326 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. repec:ucn:wpaper:10197/1099 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Earnings; Education; Instrumental Variables; Ireland;

    JEL classification:

    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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