Can education compensate for low ability? Evidence from British data
This paper uses cross section data to investigate whether the returns to education vary with the level of ability. Using a measure of cognitive ability based on tests taken at ages 7 and 11 we find, unlike most of the existing literature, clear evidence that the return to schooling is lower for those with higher ability indicating that education can act as a substitute for observed ability. We also estimate quantile regression functions to examine how the return to schooling varies across the conditional distribution of earnings. The results show that the return is lower for higher quantiles, suggesting that education is also a substitute for unobserved ability.
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- Dearden, Lorraine, 1999. "The effects of families and ability on men's education and earnings in Britain1," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 551-567, November.
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Staff General Research Papers
12016, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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- James Heckman & Pedro Carneiro, 2003.
"Human Capital Policy,"
NBER Working Papers
9495, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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- 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.
- McKinley L. Blackburn & David Neumark, 1991. "Omitted-Ability Bias and the Increase in the Return to Schooling," NBER Working Papers 3693, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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