IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp9274.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Low Wage Returns to Schooling in a Developing Country: Evidence from a Major Policy Reform in Turkey

Author

Listed:
  • Aydemir, Abdurrahman B.

    (Sabanci University)

  • Kirdar, Murat Güray

    (Bogazici University)

Abstract

In this paper, we estimate the returns on schooling for young men and women in Turkey using the exogenous and substantial variation in schooling across birth-cohorts brought about by the 1997 reform of compulsory schooling. We estimate that among 18- to 26-year-olds, the return from an extra year of schooling is almost zero for men and 3.8 percent for women. The low level of these estimates contrasts starkly with those estimated for other developing countries. We identify several reasons why the returns on schooling are low and why they are higher for women in our context. In particular, the policy alters the schooling distributions of men and women differently, thus the average causal effect we estimate puts a higher weight on the causal effect of schooling at higher grade levels for women than for men.

Suggested Citation

  • Aydemir, Abdurrahman B. & Kirdar, Murat Güray, 2015. "Low Wage Returns to Schooling in a Developing Country: Evidence from a Major Policy Reform in Turkey," IZA Discussion Papers 9274, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9274
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://docs.iza.org/dp9274.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Esther Duflo, 2001. "Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of School Construction in Indonesia: Evidence from an Unusual Policy Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 795-813, September.
    2. Colm Harmon; & Ian Walker, 1995. "Estimates of Economic Return to Schooling in the UK," Economics Department Working Paper Series n540195, Department of Economics, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
    3. Melvin Stephens Jr. & Dou-Yan Yang, 2014. "Compulsory Education and the Benefits of Schooling," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(6), pages 1777-1792, June.
    4. Wen Fan & Yuanyuan Ma, 2012. "Estimating the External Returns to Education: Evidence from China," Working Papers 201220, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    5. Andrea Ichino & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2004. "The Long-Run Educational Cost of World War II," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(1), pages 57-86, January.
    6. Paul J. Devereux & Robert A. Hart, 2010. "Forced to be Rich? Returns to Compulsory Schooling in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(549), pages 1345-1364, December.
    7. Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2009. "Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist's Companion," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 8769.
    8. Murat G. Kırdar & Meltem Dayıoğlu & İsmet Koç, 2016. "Does Longer Compulsory Education Equalize Schooling by Gender and Rural/Urban Residence?," The World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 30(3), pages 549-579.
    9. A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2008. "Bootstrap-Based Improvements for Inference with Clustered Errors," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 414-427, August.
    10. Imbens, Guido W & Angrist, Joshua D, 1994. "Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 467-475, March.
    11. A. Colin Cameron & Douglas L. Miller, 2015. "A Practitioner’s Guide to Cluster-Robust Inference," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(2), pages 317-372.
    12. Wilbert van der Klaauw, 2002. "Estimating the Effect of Financial Aid Offers on College Enrollment: A Regression-Discontinuity Approach," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(4), pages 1249-1287, November.
    13. Philip Oreopoulos, 2006. "Estimating Average and Local Average Treatment Effects of Education when Compulsory Schooling Laws Really Matter," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 152-175, March.
    14. Ichino, Andrea & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 1999. "Lower and upper bounds of returns to schooling: An exercise in IV estimation with different instruments," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 889-901, April.
    15. Tansel, Aysit, 1994. "Wage employment, earnings and returns to schooling for men and women in Turkey," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 305-320.
    16. Devereux, Paul J. & Fan, Wen, 2011. "Earnings returns to the British education expansion," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1153-1166.
    17. Davidson, Russell & MacKinnon, James G., 2010. "Wild Bootstrap Tests for IV Regression," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 28(1), pages 128-144.
    18. Hahn, Jinyong & Todd, Petra & Van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2001. "Identification and Estimation of Treatment Effects with a Regression-Discontinuity Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(1), pages 201-209, January.
    19. Jörn-Steffen Pischke & Till von Wachter, 2008. "Zero Returns to Compulsory Schooling in Germany: Evidence and Interpretation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 592-598, August.
    20. Hai Fang & Karen N. Eggleston & John A. Rizzo & Scott Rozelle & Richard J. Zeckhauser, 2012. "The Returns to Education in China: Evidence from the 1986 Compulsory Education Law," NBER Working Papers 18189, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Spohr, Chris A., 2003. "Formal schooling and workforce participation in a rapidly developing economy: evidence from "compulsory" junior high school in Taiwan," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 291-327, April.
    22. Harmon, Colm & Walker, Ian, 1995. "Estimates of the Economic Return to Schooling for the United Kingdom," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1278-1286, December.
    23. James G. MacKinnon & Matthew D. Webb, 2017. "Wild Bootstrap Inference for Wildly Different Cluster Sizes," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 32(2), pages 233-254, March.
    24. Sascha BECKER & Frank SIEBERN-THOMAS, 2001. "Returns to Education in Germany: A Variable Treatment Intensity Approach," Economics Working Papers ECO2001/09, European University Institute.
    25. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1999. "Using Maimonides' Rule to Estimate the Effect of Class Size on Scholastic Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 533-575.
    26. Wilbert Van Der Klaauw, 2008. "Regression–Discontinuity Analysis: A Survey of Recent Developments in Economics," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 22(2), pages 219-245, June.
    27. John Bound & David A. Jaeger, 1996. "On the Validity of Season of Birth as an Instrument in Wage Equations: A Comment on Angrist & Krueger's "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Scho," NBER Working Papers 5835, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    28. O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), 1999. "Handbook of Labor Economics," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 3, number 3.
    29. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
    30. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
    31. Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, 2009. "Education and Earnings in The Middle East: A Comparative Study of Returns To Schooling in Egypt, Iran, and Turkey," Working Papers 504, Economic Research Forum, revised Sep 2009.
    32. Djavad Salehi-Isfahani & Insan Tunali & Ragui Assaad, 2009. "A Comparative Study of Returns to Education of Urban Men in Egypt, Iran, and Turkey," Middle East Development Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 145-187, January.
    33. McCrary, Justin, 2008. "Manipulation of the running variable in the regression discontinuity design: A density test," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 698-714, February.
    34. Djavad Salehi-Isfahani & Insan Tunali & Ragui Assaad, 2009. "A Comparative Study Of Returns To Education Of Urban Men In Egypt, Iran, And Turkey," Middle East Development Journal (MEDJ), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 1(02), pages 145-187.
    35. 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.
    36. Harmon, Harmon & Ian Walker, 1995. "Estimates of the economic return to schooling for the UK," IFS Working Papers W95/12, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    37. Griliches, Zvi, 1977. "Estimating the Returns to Schooling: Some Econometric Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(1), pages 1-22, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Assaad, Ragui & Aydemir, Abdurrahman B. & Dayioglu-Tayfur, Meltem & Kirdar, Murat Güray, 2023. "Wage Returns to Human Capital Resulting from an Extra Year of Primary School: Evidence from Egypt," IZA Discussion Papers 16037, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Ragui Assaad & Abdurrahman Aydemir & Meltem Dayioglu & Guray Kirdar, 2016. "Returns to Schooling in Egypt," Working Papers 1000, Economic Research Forum, revised May 2016.
    3. Aydemir, Abdurrahman & Murat, Kirdar, 2013. "Estimates of the Return to Schooling in a Developing Country: Evidence from a Major Policy Reform in Turkey," MPRA Paper 51938, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Daniel A. Kamhöfer & Hendrik Schmitz, 2013. "Analyzing Zero Returns to Education in Germany – Heterogeneous Eff ects and Skill Formation," Ruhr Economic Papers 0446, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    5. repec:zbw:rwirep:0446 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Kamhöfer, Daniel & Schmitz, Hendrik, 2013. "Analyzing Zero Returns to Education in Germany: Heterogeneous Effects and Skill Formation," VfS Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79910, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    7. Kamila Cygan-Rehm, 2018. "Is Additional Schooling Worthless? Revising Zero Returns to Compulsory Schooling in Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 7191, CESifo.
    8. Ã lvaro Choi, 2023. "The Impact of Compulsory Schooling Expansion on Educational Outcomes: The Case of Indonesia," UB School of Economics Working Papers 2023/452, University of Barcelona School of Economics.
    9. Ozturk, Ahmet & Tumen, Semih, 2018. "Education and Labor Market Consequences of Student Protests in Late 1970s and the Subsequent Military Coup in Turkey," IZA Discussion Papers 11733, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Ozturk Ahmet & Tumen Semih, 2023. "The revolution is dead, long live the demolition: Education and labor market consequences of student riots," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Sciendo & Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 12(1), pages 1-34, January.
    11. Chen, Yi & Jiang, Sheng & Zhou, Li-An, 2020. "Estimating returns to education in urban China: Evidence from a natural experiment in schooling reform," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 218-233.
    12. Matt Dickson, 2013. "The Causal Effect of Education on Wages Revisited," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 75(4), pages 477-498, August.
    13. Ciprian Domnisoru, 2021. "Heterogeneity across Families in the Impact of Compulsory Schooling Laws," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 88(350), pages 399-429, April.
    14. Paul J. Devereux & Robert A. Hart, 2010. "Forced to be Rich? Returns to Compulsory Schooling in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(549), pages 1345-1364, December.
    15. Colm Harmon & Hessel Oosterbeek, 2000. "The Returns to Education: A Review of Evidence, Issues and Deficiencies in the Literature," CEE Discussion Papers 0005, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
    16. Daniel Gray & Alberto Montagnoli & Mirko Moro, 2017. "Does education improve financial outcomes? Quasi-experimental evidence from Britain," Working Papers 2017010, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics.
    17. Meng, Xin & Zhao, Guochang, 2016. "The Long Shadow of the Chinese Cultural Revolution: The Intergenerational Transmission of Education," IZA Discussion Papers 10460, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    18. Adrien Montalbo, 2019. "Education and economic development. The influence of primary schooling on municipalities in nineteenth-century France," PSE Working Papers halshs-02286126, HAL.
    19. Terry Sicular & Juan Yang, 2015. "The Returns to Schooling in Rural China: Evidence from the Cultural Revolution Education Expansion," University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP) Working Papers 20152, University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP).
    20. Adrien Montalbo, 2019. "Education and economic development. The influence of primary schooling on municipalities in nineteenth-century France," Working Papers halshs-02286126, HAL.
    21. Devereux, Paul J. & Fan, Wen, 2011. "Earnings returns to the British education expansion," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1153-1166.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    compulsory schooling laws; returns to education; wages; gender;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9274. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Holger Hinte (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/izaaade.html .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.