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Mind the gap? Estimating the effects of postponing higher education

  • Holmlund, Bertil

    ()

    (Department of Econoics, Uppsala University)

  • Liu, Qian

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Uppsala University)

  • Nordström Skans, Oskar

    ()

    (IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation)

This paper estimates the effects on earnings of “gap years” between high school and university enrollment. The effect is estimated by means of standard earnings functions augmented to account for gap years and a rich set of control variables using administrative Swedish data. We find that postponement of higher education is associated with a persistent and non-trivial earnings penalty. The main source of the persistent penalty appears to be the loss of work experience after studies. Two years postponement reduces the present value of life time earnings by 40-50 percent of annual earnings at age 40.

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Paper provided by IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy in its series Working Paper Series with number 2006:11.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: 11 Oct 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Oxford Economic Papers , 2008.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifauwp:2006_011
Contact details of provider: Postal: IFAU, P O Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Phone: (+46) 18 - 471 70 70
Fax: (+46) 18 - 471 70 71
Web page: http://www.ifau.se/
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  1. Oskar Nordström Skans & Per-Anders Edin & Bertil Holmlund, 2007. "Wage dispersion between and within plants: Sweden 1985-2000," NBER Working Papers 13021, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. James W. Albrecht & Per-Anders Edin & Marianne Sundström & Susan B. Vroman, 1999. "Career Interruptions and Subsequent Earnings: A Reexamination Using Swedish Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(2), pages 294-311.
  3. V. Joseph Hotz & Lixin Xu & Marta Tienda & Avner Ahituv, 1999. "Are There Returns to the Wages of Young Men from Working While in School?," NBER Working Papers 7289, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Light, Audrey & Ureta, Manuelita, 1995. "Early-Career Work Experience and Gender Wage Differentials," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(1), pages 121-54, January.
  5. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Introduction to "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings"," NBER Chapters, in: Schooling, Experience, and Earnings, pages 1-4 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. James J. Heckman & Lance J. Lochner & Petra E. Todd, 2003. "Fifty Years of Mincer Earnings Regressions," NBER Working Papers 9732, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Alan S. Blinder & Yoram Weiss, 1975. "Human Capital and Labor Supply: A Synthesis," NBER Working Papers 0067, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Mary Corcoran & Greg J. Duncan & Michael Ponza, 1983. "A Longitudinal Analysis of White Women's Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 18(4), pages 497-520.
  9. Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance John & Todd, Petra E., 2005. "Earnings Functions, Rates of Return and Treatment Effects: The Mincer Equation and Beyond," IZA Discussion Papers 1700, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Joseph G. Altonji, 1991. "The Demand for and Return to Education When Education Outcomes are Uncertain," NBER Working Papers 3714, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  12. Nordström Skans, Oskar & Liljeberg, Linus, 2005. "Causal effects of subsidized career breaks," Working Paper Series 2005:17, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  13. Audrey Light, 1995. "The Effects of Interrupted Schooling on Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(3), pages 472-502.
  14. Gronau, Reuben, 1988. "Sex-Related Wage Differentials and Women's Interrupted Labor Careers--The Chicken or the Egg," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(3), pages 277-301, July.
  15. Jacob Mincer & Solomon Polacheck, 1974. "Family Investments in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," NBER Chapters, in: Economics of the Family: Marriage, Children, and Human Capital, pages 397-431 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Mincer, Jacob & Polachek, Solomon, 1974. "Family Investment in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages S76-S108, Part II, .
  17. Monks, James, 1997. "The impact of college timing on earnings," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 419-423, October.
  18. Griliches, Zvi, 1980. " Schooling Interruption, Work While in School and the Returns from Schooling," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 82(2), pages 291-303.
  19. Mary Corcoran & Greg J. Duncan, 1979. "Work History, Labor Force Attachment, and Earnings Differences between the Races and Sexes," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 14(1), pages 3-20.
  20. Jacob Mincer & Haim Ofek, 1982. "Interrupted Work Careers: Depreciation and Restoration of Human Capital," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 17(1), pages 3-24.
  21. Smith, Jeremy & Naylor, Robin, 2001. " Determinants of Degree Performance in UK Universities: A Statistical Analysis of the 1993 Student Cohort," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 63(1), pages 29-60, February.
  22. Comay, Yochanan & Melnik, A & Pollatschek, M A, 1973. "The Option Value of Education and the Optimal Path for Investment in Human Capital," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(2), pages 421-35, June.
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