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Human Capital Values and Returns:Bounds Implied By Earnings and Asset Returns Data

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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File URL: http://www8.georgetown.edu/departments/economics/pdf/102.pdf
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Paper provided by Georgetown University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number gueconwpa~10-10-02.

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Date of creation: 10 Jul 2010
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Handle: RePEc:geo:guwopa:gueconwpa~10-10-02
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Georgetown University Department of Economics Washington, DC 20057-1036

Phone: 202-687-6074
Fax: 202-687-6102
Web page: http://econ.georgetown.edu/
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Order Information: Postal: Roger Lagunoff Professor of Economics Georgetown University Department of Economics Washington, DC 20057-1036
Web: http://econ.georgetown.edu/ Email:


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  1. Constantinides,George & Duffie,Darrel, 1992. "Asset pricing with heterogeneous consumers," Discussion Paper Serie A 381, University of Bonn, Germany.
  2. John Y. Campbell, 2006. "Household Finance," NBER Working Papers 12149, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Mark Huggett & Gustavo Ventura & Amir Yaron, 2010. "Sources of Lifetime Inequality," Working Papers 2011-020, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  4. Mark Huggett & Greg Kaplan, 2013. "The Money Value of a Man," Working Papers 1474, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  5. 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.
  6. Hansen, Lars Peter & Jagannathan, Ravi, 1991. "Implications of Security Market Data for Models of Dynamic Economies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(2), pages 225-62, April.
  7. Costas Meghir & Luigi Pistaferri, 2010. "Earnings, consumption and lifecycle choices," IFS Working Papers W10/05, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  8. John H. Cochrane & Jesus Saa-Requejo, 2000. "Beyond Arbitrage: Good-Deal Asset Price Bounds in Incomplete Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(1), pages 79-119, February.
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