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

Author

Listed:
  • Mazza, Jacopo

    () (University of Amsterdam)

  • van Ophem, Hans

    () (University of Amsterdam)

  • Hartog, Joop

    () (University of Amsterdam)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Mazza, Jacopo & van Ophem, Hans & Hartog, Joop, 2011. "Unobserved Heterogeneity and Risk in Wage Variance: Does Schooling Provide Earnings Insurance?," IZA Discussion Papers 5531, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5531
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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. 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.
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    4. Cameron,A. Colin & Trivedi,Pravin K., 2008. "Microeconometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9787111235767, December.
    5. 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.
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    8. 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.
    9. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", pages 129-137.
    10. 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.
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    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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kässi, Otto, 2012. "Uncertainty and Heterogeneity in Returns to Education: Evidence from Finland," MPRA Paper 48738, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Aug 2013.
    2. Mazza, Jacopo & van Ophem, Hans & Hartog, Joop, 2013. "Unobserved heterogeneity and risk in wage variance: Does more schooling reduce earnings risk?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 323-338.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    unobserved heterogeneity; wage uncertainty; wage inequality; selectivity; education; replication;

    JEL classification:

    • C01 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - General - - - Econometrics
    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • C34 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Truncated and Censored Models; Switching Regression Models
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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