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Unobserved Heterogeneity and Risk in Wage Variance: Does Schooling Provide Earnings Insurance?

Listed author(s):
  • Mazza, Jacopo

    ()

    (University of Amsterdam)

  • van Ophem, Hans

    ()

    (University of Amsterdam)

  • Hartog, Joop

    ()

    (University of Amsterdam)

We apply a recently proposed method to disentangle unobserved heterogeneity from risk in returns to education. We replicate the original study on US men and extend to US women, UK men and German men. Most original results are not robust. A college education cannot universally be considered an insurance against unpredictability of wages. One conclusion is unequivocally confirmed: uncertainty strongly dominates unobserved heterogeneity.

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File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp5531.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5531.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2011
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5531
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  1. Stephen V. Cameron & Christopher Taber, 2004. "Estimation of Educational Borrowing Constraints Using Returns to Schooling," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(1), pages 132-182, February.
  2. Bonin, Holger & Dohmen, Thomas & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David & Sunde, Uwe, 2007. "Cross-sectional earnings risk and occupational sorting: The role of risk attitudes," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 926-937, December.
  3. Daron Acemoglu, 2002. "Technical Change, Inequality, and the Labor Market," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(1), pages 7-72, March.
  4. Stacey H. Chen, 2008. "Estimating the Variance of Wages in the Presence of Selection and Unobserved Heterogeneity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 275-289, May.
  5. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  6. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J., 2007. "Identifying and Estimating the Distributions of Ex Post and Ex Ante Returns to Schooling," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 870-893, December.
  7. Joop Hartog & Luis Díaz-Serrano, 2007. "Earnings risk and demand for higher education: A cross-section test for Spain," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 10, pages 1-28, May.
  8. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Keueger, 1991. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 979-1014.
  9. Connelly, Rachel, 1992. "The Effect of Child Care Costs on Married Women's Labor Force Participation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(1), pages 83-90, February.
  10. Griliches, Zvi, 1977. "Estimating the Returns to Schooling: Some Econometric Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(1), pages 1-22, January.
  11. Cameron,A. Colin & Trivedi,Pravin K., 2005. "Microeconometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521848053, September.
  12. Thomas Lemieux, 2006. "Increasing Residual Wage Inequality: Composition Effects, Noisy Data, or Rising Demand for Skill?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 461-498, June.
  13. Jeremy Arkes, 2010. "Using Unemployment Rates as Instruments to Estimate Returns to Schooling," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 711-722, January.
  14. Snow, Arthur & Warren, Ronald S, Jr, 1990. "Human Capital Investment and Labor Supply under Uncertainty," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 31(1), pages 195-206, February.
  15. Allan G. King, 1974. "Occupational Choice, Risk Aversion, and Wealth," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 27(4), pages 586-596, July.
  16. Michael Spence, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-374.
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