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A Structure Analysis of the Correlated Random Coefficient Wage Regression Model

  • Belzil, Christian
  • Hansen, Jörgen

We estimate a finite mixture dynamic programming model of schooling decisions in which the log wage regression function is set in a random coefficient framework. The model allows for absolute and comparative advantages in the labour market and assumes that the population is composed of eight unknown types. Overall, labour market skills (as opposed to taste for schooling) appear to be the prime factor explaining schooling attainments. The estimates indicate a higher cross-sectional variance in the returns to experience than in the returns to schooling. From various simulations, we find that the sub-population mostly affected by a counterfactual change in the utility of attending school is composed of individuals who have any combination of some of the following attributes: absolute advantages in the labour market, high returns to experience, low utility of attending school and relatively low returns to schooling. Unlike what is often postulated in the average treatment effect literature, the weak correlation (unconditional) between the returns to schooling and the individual reactions to treatment is not sufficient to reconcile the discrepancy between OLS and IV estimates of the returns to schooling often found in the literature.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3601.

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Date of creation: Oct 2002
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3601
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  1. Christian Belzil & Jörgen Hansen, 2002. "Unobserved Ability and the Return to Schooling," CIRANO Working Papers 2002s-19, CIRANO.
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  5. Meghir, Costas & Palme, Marten, 2001. "The Effect of a Social Experiment in Education," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 0451, Stockholm School of Economics.
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  8. Jean-Pierre Florens & James Heckman & Costas Meghir & Edward Vytlacil, 2002. "Instrumental variables, local instrumental variables and control functions," CeMMAP working papers CWP15/02, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  9. James J. Heckman & Edward J. Vytlacil, 2000. "Local Instrumental Variables," NBER Technical Working Papers 0252, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  19. Kenneth I. Wolpin & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2000. "Natural "Natural Experiments" in Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(4), pages 827-874, December.
  20. Thierry Magnac & David Thesmar, 2002. "Identifying Dynamic Discrete Decision Processes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 801-816, March.
  21. Stephen V. Cameron & James J. Heckman, 1998. "Life Cycle Schooling and Dynamic Selection Bias: Models and Evidence for Five Cohorts of American Males," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(2), pages 262-333, April.
  22. Rust, John, 1987. "Optimal Replacement of GMC Bus Engines: An Empirical Model of Harold Zurcher," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(5), pages 999-1033, September.
  23. Wooldridge, Jeffrey M., 1997. "On two stage least squares estimation of the average treatment effect in a random coefficient model," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 129-133, October.
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