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.
- 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.
- Tobias, Justin, 2001.
"Are Returns to Schooling Concentrated Among the Most Able? A Semiparametric Analysis of the Ability-Earnings Relationships,"
Staff General Research Papers
12016, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
- Tobias, J.L., 2000. "Are Return to Schooling Concentrated Among the Most Able? A Semiparametric Analysis of the Ability-Earnings Relationship," Papers 00-01-12, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
- John Cawley & James Heckman & Edward Vytlacil, 1998. "Understanding the Role of Cognitive Ability in Accounting for the Recent Rise in the Economic Return to Education," NBER Working Papers 6388, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Carneiro, Pedro & Heckman, James J., 2003.
"Human Capital Policy,"
IZA Discussion Papers
821, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- 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, .
- Melissa Osborne & Herbert Gintis & Samuel Bowles, 2001. "The Determinants of Earnings: A Behavioral Approach," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1137-1176, December.
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