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Human capital values and returns: bounds implied by earnings and asset returns data

  • Mark Huggett
  • Greg Kaplan

We provide theory for calculating bounds on both the value of an individual’s human capital and the return on an individual’s human capital, given knowledge of the process governing earnings and financial asset returns. We calculate bounds using U.S. data on male earnings and financial asset returns. The large idiosyncratic component of earnings risk implies that bounds on values and returns are quite loose. However, when aggregate shocks are the only source of earnings risk, both bounds are tight.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Staff Report with number 448.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:448
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  1. Meghir, Costas & Pistaferri, Luigi, 2011. "Earnings, Consumption and Life Cycle Choices," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
  2. Kjetil Storesletten & Chris I. Telmer & Amir Yaron, 2000. "Consumption and Risk Sharing Over the Life Cycle," NBER Working Papers 7995, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Mark Huggett & Greg Kaplan, 2013. "The Money Value of a Man," Working Papers 1474, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  4. Mark Huggett & Gustavo Ventura & Amir Yaron, 2011. "Sources of Lifetime Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 2923-54, December.
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