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Educational Expansion and Its Heterogeneous Returns for Wage Workers

  • Michael Gebel
  • Friedhelm Pfeiffer

This paper examines the evolution of returns to education in the West German labour market over the last two decades. During this period, graduates from the period of educational expansion entered the labour market and an upgrading of the skill structure took place. In order to tackle the issues of endogeneity of schooling and its heterogeneous returns we apply two estimation methods: Wooldridge's (2004) approach that relies on conditional mean independence and Garen's (1984) control function approach that requires an exclusion restriction. For the population of workers from the SOEP, we find that both approaches produce estimates of average returns to education that decrease until the late 1990s and increase afterwards. The gender gap in returns to education seems to vanish. Furthermore, we find that the so-called "baby boomer" cohort has the lowest average return to education in young ages. However, this effect disappears over time.

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File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.56583.de/diw_sp0013.pdf
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Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 13.

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Length: 34 p.
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp13
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  3. Ichino, Andrea & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 1998. "Lower and Upper Bounds of Returns to Schooling: An Exercise in IV estimation with Different Instruments," CEPR Discussion Papers 2007, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  8. Anton L. Flossmann & Winfried Pohlmeier, 2006. "Casual Returns to Education: A Survey on Empirical Evidence for Germany," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 226(1), pages 6-23, January.
  9. Ammermüller, Andreas & Weber, Andrea Maria, 2005. "Educational Attainment and Returns to Education in Germany: An Analysis by Subject of Degree, Gender and Region," ZEW Discussion Papers 05-17, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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  13. Gernandt, Johannes & Pfeiffer, Friedhelm, 2006. "Rising Wage Inequality in Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-19, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  14. James J. Heckman & Edward J. Vytlacil, 2000. "Instrumental Variables, Selection Models, and Tight Bounds on the Average Treatment Effect," NBER Technical Working Papers 0259, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias, 2000. "Evaluation methods for non-experimental data," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(4), pages 427-468, January.
  16. Richard Blundell & Lorraine Dearden & Barbara Sianesi, 2004. "Evaluating the Impact of Education on Earnings in the UK: Models, Methods and Results from the NCDS," CEE Discussion Papers 0047, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  17. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1976. "Child Endowments and the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages S143-62, August.
  18. Diane Macunovich, 1999. "The Fortune of One's Birth: Relative Cohort Size and the Youth Labor Market in the United States," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 6, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
  19. Sascha BECKER & Frank SIEBERN-THOMAS, 2001. "Returns to Education in Germany: A Variable Treatment Intensity Approach," Economics Working Papers ECO2001/09, European University Institute.
  20. Pischke, Jörn-Steffen & Wachter, Till von, 2005. "Zero Returns to Compulsory Schooling in Germany: Evidence and Interpretation," IZA Discussion Papers 1645, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  21. Alexandra Spitz-Oener, 2006. "Technical Change, Job Tasks, and Rising Educational Demands: Looking outside the Wage Structure," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(2), pages 235-270, April.
  22. Robert J. Willis & Sherwin Rosen, 1978. "Education and Self-Selection," NBER Working Papers 0249, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Johannes Gernandt & Friedhelm Pfeiffer, 2006. "Einstiegslöhne bei unvollkommenen Arbeitsmärkten," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 7(2), pages 147-172, 05.
  24. Michael Maier & Friedhelm Pfeiffer & Winfried Pohlmeier, 2003. "Overeducation and Individual Heterogeneity," Working Papers of the Research Group Heterogenous Labor 03-01, Research Group Heterogeneous Labor, University of Konstanz/ZEW Mannheim.
  25. Dustmann, Christian, 2001. "Parental Background, Primary to Secondary School Transitions, and Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 367, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  26. Boockmann, Bernhard & Steiner, Viktor, 2000. "Cohort effects and the returns to education in West Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 00-05, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  27. James J. Heckman, 1977. "Dummy Endogenous Variables in a Simultaneous Equation System," NBER Working Papers 0177, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance J. & Todd, Petra E., 2006. "Earnings Functions, Rates of Return and Treatment Effects: The Mincer Equation and Beyond," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  29. Hanushek, Eric A, 1992. "The Trade-Off between Child Quantity and Quality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 84-117, February.
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  31. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
  32. Garen, John, 1984. "The Returns to Schooling: A Selectivity Bias Approach with a Continuous Choice Variable," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(5), pages 1199-1218, September.
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