IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Misreported Schooling, Multiple Measures and Returns to Educational Qualifications

  • Battistin, Erich


    (Queen Mary, University of London)

  • De Nadai, Michele


    (University of Padova)

  • Sianesi, Barbara


    (Institute for Fiscal Studies, London)

We provide a number of contributions of policy, practical and methodological interest to the study of the returns to educational qualifications in the presence of misreporting. First, we provide the first reliable estimates of a highly policy relevant parameter for the UK, namely the return from attaining any academic qualification compared to leaving school at the minimum age without any formal qualification. Second, we provide the academic and policy community with estimates of the accuracy and misclassification patterns of commonly used types of data on educational attainment: administrative files, self-reported information close to the date of completion of the qualification, and recall information ten years after completion. We are in the unique position to assess the temporal patterns of misreporting errors across survey waves, and to decompose misreporting errors into a systematic component linked to individuals' persistent behaviour and into a transitory part reflecting random survey errors. Third, by using the unique nature of our data, we assess how the biases from measurement error and from omitted ability and family background variables interact in the estimation of returns. On the methodological front, we propose a semi-parametric estimation approach based on balancing scores and mixture models, in particular allowing for arbitrarily heterogeneous individual returns.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6337.

in new window

Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Econometrics, 2014, 181, 136-150
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6337
Contact details of provider: Postal:
IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany

Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page:

Order Information: Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Steven McIntosh, 2004. "Further Analysis of the Returns to Academic and Vocational Qualifications," CEE Discussion Papers 0035, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  2. Heckman, James J. & Pinto, Rodrigo & Savelyev, Peter, 2012. "Understanding the Mechanisms Through Which an Influential Early Childhood Program Boosted Adult Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 7040, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Aprajit Mahajan, 2006. "Identification and Estimation of Regression Models with Misclassification," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(3), pages 631-665, 05.
  4. Molinari, Francesca, 2008. "Partial identification of probability distributions with misclassified data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 81-117, May.
  5. Kreider, Brent & Pepper, John V., 2003. "Disability and Employment: Reevaluating the Evidence in Light of Reporting Errors," Staff General Research Papers Archive 10229, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  6. Borghans Lex & Lee Duckworth Angela & Heckman James J. & Weel Bas ter, 2008. "The Economics and Psychology of Personality Traits," ROA Research Memorandum 001, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  7. Arthur Lewbel, 2003. "Estimation of Average Treatment Effects With Misclassification," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 556, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 04 Sep 2006.
  8. Guido W. Imbens & Donald B. Rubin, 1997. "Estimating Outcome Distributions for Compliers in Instrumental Variables Models," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(4), pages 555-574.
  9. James J. Heckman, 2011. "Integrating Personality Psychology into Economics," NBER Working Papers 17378, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Almlund, Mathilde & Duckworth, Angela Lee & Heckman, James J. & Kautz, Tim, 2011. "Personality Psychology and Economics," IZA Discussion Papers 5500, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. DiNardo, John & Lee, David S., 2011. "Program Evaluation and Research Designs," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
  12. Xiaohong Chen & Han Hong & Denis Nekipelov, 2011. "Nonlinear Models of Measurement Errors," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(4), pages 901-37, December.
  13. Chevalier, Arnaud & Harmon, Colm & Walker, Ian & Zhu, Yu, 2003. "Does Education Raise Productivity or Just Reflect It?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3993, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Richard Blundell & Lorraine Dearden & Barbara Sianesi, 2005. "Evaluating the effect of education on earnings: models, methods and results from the National Child Development Survey," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 168(3), pages 473-512.
  15. Thomas J. Kane & Cecilia Rouse & Douglas Staiger, 1999. "Estimating Returns to Schooling When Schooling is Misreported," Working Papers 798, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  16. Charles F. Manski & John V. Pepper, 1998. "Monotone Instrumental Variables with an Application to the Returns to Schooling," NBER Technical Working Papers 0224, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Joshua D. Angrist & Guido W. Imbens, 1995. "Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects," NBER Technical Working Papers 0118, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Brent Kreider & John V. Pepper & Craig Gundersen & Dean Jolliffe, 2012. "Identifying the Effects of SNAP (Food Stamps) on Child Health Outcomes When Participation Is Endogenous and Misreported," Journal of the American Statistical Association, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 107(499), pages 958-975, September.
  19. Hu, Yingyao, 2008. "Identification and estimation of nonlinear models with misclassification error using instrumental variables: A general solution," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 27-61, May.
  20. Thomas J. Kane & Cecilia Elena Rouse & Douglas Staiger, 1999. "Estimating Returns to Schooling When Schooling is Misreported," NBER Working Papers 7235, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Black, Dan & Sanders, Seth & Taylor, Lowell, 2003. "Measurement of Higher Education in the Census and Current Population Survey," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 98, pages 545-554, January.
  22. Charley Greenwood & Andrew Jenkins & Anna Vignoles, 2007. "The Returns to Qualifications in England: Updating the Evidence Base on Level 2 and Level 3 Vocational Qualifications," CEE Discussion Papers 0089, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  23. Aigner, Dennis J., 1973. "Regression with a binary independent variable subject to errors of observation," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 49-59, March.
  24. Mellow, Wesley & Sider, Hal, 1983. "Accuracy of Response in Labor Market Surveys: Evidence and Implications," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(4), pages 331-44, October.
  25. Lorraine Dearden & Steven McIntosh & Michal Myck & Anna Vignoles, 2000. "The Returns to Academic and Vocational Qualifications in Britain," CEE Discussion Papers 0004, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  26. Erich Battistin & Barbara Sianesi, 2011. "Misclassified Treatment Status and Treatment Effects: An Application to Returns to Education in the United Kingdom," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 495-509, May.
  27. A. D. Roy, 1951. "Some Thoughts On The Distribution Of Earnings," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 135-146.
  28. Lorraine Dearden, 1999. "Qualifications and earnings in Britain: how reliable are conventional OLS estimates of the returns to education?," IFS Working Papers W99/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  29. repec:fth:prinin:419 is not listed on IDEAS
  30. Heckman, James J & Honore, Bo E, 1990. "The Empirical Content of the Roy Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(5), pages 1121-49, September.
  31. Fruhwirth-Schnatter S., 2001. "Markov Chain Monte Carlo Estimation of Classical and Dynamic Switching and Mixture Models," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 96, pages 194-209, March.
  32. repec:pri:indrel:419 is not listed on IDEAS
  33. 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.
  34. Bound, John & Brown, Charles & Mathiowetz, Nancy, 2001. "Measurement error in survey data," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 59, pages 3705-3843 Elsevier.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6337. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.