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Zero Returns To Higher Education: Evidence From A Natural Experiment

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  • Stanislav Avdeev

    (National Research University Higher School of Economics)

Abstract

Although many papers estimate returns to education, little causal evidence has been found for low- and middle-income countries. This paper estimates the causal effect of one year of university education on wages and employment in Russia. In 2011, the Bologna reform shortened the university study period by one year and reduced the content of the curricula but did not change the quality of admitted students. I exploit this reform as a natural experiment and use a difference-in-differences design. I find no adverse effect of a one-year reduction on wages and on the probability of being employed. This suggests that the reform lowered the opportunity costs of education but did not affect the accumulation of specific skills relevant for the labour market.

Suggested Citation

  • Stanislav Avdeev, 2020. "Zero Returns To Higher Education: Evidence From A Natural Experiment," HSE Working papers WP BRP 236/EC/2020, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hig:wpaper:236/ec/2020
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    difference-in-differences; returns to education; human capital; higher education; employment; wages; Bologna reform; Russia;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • I26 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Returns to Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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