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A Review of Estimates of the Schooling/ Earnings Relationship, with tests for Publication Bias

  • Ashenfelter, O.
  • Harmon, C.
  • Oosterbeek, H.

In this paper we provide an analytical review of previous estimates of the rate of return on schooling investments and measure how these estimates vary by country, over time, and by estimation method. We find evidence of reporting (or "file drawer") bias in the estimates and, after due account is taken of this bias, we find only weak evidence that the estimation method has any effect on the estimates despite differences by method being the focus of considerable attention recently.

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Paper provided by College Dublin, Department of Political Economy- in its series Papers with number 99/20.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fth:dublec:99/20
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Ireland; University College Dublin, Department of Political Economy, Centre for Economic Research, Belfield, Dublin 4

Phone: +353-1-7067777
Fax: +353-1-283 0068
Web page: http://www.ucd.ie/economics/

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  1. Blackburn, McKinley L & Neumark, David, 1995. "Are OLS Estimates of the Return to Schooling Biased Downward? Another Look," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(2), pages 217-30, May.
  2. 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.
  3. Meghir, Costas & Palme, Mårten, 1999. "Assessing the Effect of Schooling on Earnings Using a Social Experiment," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 313, Stockholm School of Economics.
  4. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 1990. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," NBER Working Papers 3572, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Harmon, Colm & Walker, Ian, 2000. "The Returns to the Quantity and Quality of Education: Evidence for Men in England and Wales," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 67(265), pages 19-35, February.
  6. Blackburn, McKinley L & Neumark, David, 1993. "Omitted-Ability Bias and the Increase in the Return to Schooling," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(3), pages 521-44, July.
  7. Lo, Andrew W. (Andrew Wen-Chuan) & MacKinlay, Archie Craig, 1955-, 1989. "Data-snooping biases in tests of financial asset pricing models," Working papers 3020-89., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  8. David Card, 1993. "Using Geographic Variation in College Proximity to Estimate the Return to Schooling," NBER Working Papers 4483, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Rouse, Cecilia Elena, 1999. "Further estimates of the economic return to schooling from a new sample of twins," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 149-157, April.
  10. Orley Ashenfelter & Cecilia Rouse, 1997. "Income, Schooling, and Ability: Evidence from a New Sample of Identical Twins," NBER Working Papers 6106, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Uusitalo, Roope, 1999. "Return to education in Finland," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 569-580, November.
  12. Griliches, Zvi & Mason, William M, 1972. "Education, Income, and Ability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(3), pages S74-S103, Part II, .
  13. Plug, Erik J. S., 2001. "Season of birth, schooling and earnings," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 641-660, October.
  14. Bedi, Arjun S. & Gaston, Noel, 1999. "Using variation in schooling availability to estimate educational returns for Honduras," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 107-116, February.
  15. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1995. "Time-Series Minimum-Wage Studies: A Meta-analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 238-43, May.
  16. repec:fth:prinin:317 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Griliches, Zvi, 1977. "Estimating the Returns to Schooling: Some Econometric Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(1), pages 1-22, January.
  18. Harmon, C & Ian Walker, 1995. "Estimates of the economic return to schooling for the UK," IFS Working Papers W95/12, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  19. Uusitalo, R. & Conneely, K., 1998. "Estimating Heterogeneous Treatment Effects in the Becker Schooling Model," University of Helsinki, Department of Economics 435, Department of Economics.
  20. Psacharopoulos, George, 1994. "Returns to investment in education: A global update," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(9), pages 1325-1343, September.
  21. Angrist, Joshua D & Newey, Whitney K, 1991. "Over-Identification Tests in Earnings Functions with Fixed Effects," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 9(3), pages 317-23, July.
  22. Brown, Stephen J & Goetzmann, William N & Ross, Stephen A, 1995. " Survival," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(3), pages 853-73, July.
  23. Angrist, Joshua D & Krueger, Alan B, 1995. "Split-Sample Instrumental Variables Estimates of the Return to Schooling," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(2), pages 225-35, April.
  24. Elchanan Cohn & John Addison, 1998. "The Economic Returns to Lifelong Learning in OECD Countries," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(3), pages 253-307.
  25. Kristin F. Butcher & Anne Case, 1994. "The Effect of Sibling Sex Composition on Women's Education and Earnings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 531-563.
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