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Risks and Returns to Educational Fields: A Financial Asset Approach to Vocational and Academic Education

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  • Daniela Glocker
  • Johanna Storck

Abstract

Applying a financial assets approach, we analyze the returns and earnings risk of investments into different types of human capital. Even though the returns from investing in human capital are extensively studied, little is known about the properties of the returns to different types of human capital within a given educational path. Using information from the German Micro Census, we estimate the risk and returns to around 70 fields of education and differentiate between vocational and academic education. We identify fields of education that are efficient investment goods, i.e. high returns at a given level of risk, and fields that are chosen for other (non-monetary) reasons. Furthermore, we rank fields of education by their return per unit of risk and find that university education is not always superior to other educational paths.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniela Glocker & Johanna Storck, 2012. "Risks and Returns to Educational Fields: A Financial Asset Approach to Vocational and Academic Education," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1240, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp1240
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Freier, Ronny & Schumann, Mathias & Siedler, Thomas, 2015. "The earnings returns to graduating with honors — Evidence from law graduates," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 39-50.
    2. repec:ris:apltrx:0336 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Neugebauer, Martin & Weiss, Felix, 2017. "Does a Bachelor's degree pay off? Labor market outcomes of academic versus vocational education after Bologna," Discussion Papers 2017/11, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    4. Fichtl, Anita & Piopiunik, Marc, 2017. "Absolventen von Fachhochschulen und Universitäten im Vergleich: FuE-Tätigkeiten, Arbeitsmarktergebnisse, Kompetenzen und Mobilität," Studien zum deutschen Innovationssystem 14-2017, Expertenkommission Forschung und Innovation (EFI) - Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation, Berlin.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Educational choice; human capital investment; returns to schooling; mean-variance analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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