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A New Approach to Estimate the Wage Returns to Work-Related Training

  • Leuven, Edwin


    (University of Oslo)

  • Oosterbeek, Hessel


    (University of Amsterdam)

This paper proposes a new approach to identify the wage effects of training. The idea is to narrow down the comparison group by only taking into consideration the workers who wanted to participate in training but did not do so because of some random event. The point estimate of the return to training consistently drops when restricting the comparison group this way. While the OLS estimate of the return to training participation is significantly positive, this is no longer the case when we use the new comparison group. This outcome suggests that a large share of what is usually interpreted as returns to training is actually the return to some unobservable characteristic.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 526.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2002
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Applied Econometrics, 2008, 23, 423-434
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp526
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  1. Acemoglu, Daron & Pischke, Jörn-Steffen, 1998. "The Structure of Wages and Investment in General Training," CEPR Discussion Papers 1833, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Jonathan R. Veum, 1995. "Sources of training and their impact on wages," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(4), pages 812-826, July.
  3. Edwin Leuven & Hessel Oosterbeek, 2004. "Evaluating the Effect of Tax Deductions on Training," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 461-488, April.
  4. Lynch, Lisa M, 1992. "Private-Sector Training and the Earnings of Young Workers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 299-312, March.
  5. Heckman, James J. & Lalonde, Robert J. & Smith, Jeffrey A., 1999. "The economics and econometrics of active labor market programs," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 31, pages 1865-2097 Elsevier.
  6. John M. Barron & Mark C. Berger & Dan A. Black, 1997. "On-the-Job Training," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number ojt, April.
  7. Imbens, Guido W & Angrist, Joshua D, 1994. "Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 467-75, March.
  8. Jonathan R. Veum, 1995. "Sources of Training and Their Impact on Wages," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(4), pages 812-826, July.
  9. Greenhalgh, Christine & Stewart, Mark, 1987. "The Effects and Determinants of Training," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 49(2), pages 171-90, May.
  10. J.D. Angrist & Guido W. Imbens & D.B. Rubin, 1993. "Identification of Causal Effects Using Instrumental Variables," NBER Technical Working Papers 0136, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Stevens, Margaret, 1994. "A Theoretical Model of On-the-Job Training with Imperfect Competition," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(4), pages 537-62, October.
  12. John M. Barron & Mark C. Berger & Dan A. Black, 1999. "Do Workers Pay for On-The-Job Training?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(2), pages 235-252.
  13. Stephen H. Bell & Larry l. Orr & John D. Blomquist & Glen G. Cain, 1995. "Program Applicants as a Comparison Group in Evaluating Training Programs: Theory and a Test," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number pacg, April.
  14. Booth, Alison L, 1993. "Private Sector Training and Graduate Earnings," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(1), pages 164-70, February.
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