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Compensating Wage Differentials for Schooling Risk in Denmark

  • Diaz-Serrano, Luis

    ()

    (Universitat Rovira i Virgili)

  • Hartog, Joop

    ()

    (University of Amsterdam)

  • Nielsen, Helena Skyt

    ()

    (Aarhus University)

In this paper we test for risk compensation in wages using Danish panel data. With the conviction that the type of education is as important as the education length, we use a very detailed description of the type of education reached by the Danish population to calculate different measures of earnings risk by education. Our long panel data set also allows us to decompose shocks in earnings in a permanent and a transitory component. We test the role of the risks associated to both components in wage compensation. We also experiment with new measures of earnings risk based on transitory intertemporal fluctuations in earnings. Thus, we get closer to risk measures catching the intrinsic long-run feature of schooling-risks and the required compensation. In concordance to what theory predicts, we find that the labor market compensates for such foreseeable risks. Hence, we state a return-risk trade-off for the human capital investments in Denmark.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 963.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 2008, 110(4), 711-731
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp963
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  1. 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. 0, pages 1-28, May.
  2. Christiansen, Charlotte & Nielsen, Helena Skyt, 2003. "The Educational Asset Market: A Finance Perspective on Human Capital Investment," Finance Working Papers 02-9, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Business Studies.
  3. Martin Browning & Mette Ejrn�s & Javier Alvarez, 2010. "Modelling Income Processes with Lots of Heterogeneity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(4), pages 1353-1381.
  4. Levhari, David & Weiss, Yoram, 1974. "The Effect of Risk on the Investment in Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(6), pages 950-63, December.
  5. Eaton, Jonathan & Rosen, Harvey S, 1980. "Taxation, Human Capital, and Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(4), pages 705-15, September.
  6. Williams, Joseph T, 1979. "Uncertainty and the Accumulation of Human Capital over the Life Cycle," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(4), pages 521-48, October.
  7. Belzil, Christian & Hansen, Jörgen, 2002. "Earnings Dispersion, Risk Aversion and Education," IZA Discussion Papers 513, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Weiss, Yoram, 1972. "The Risk Element in Occupational and Educational Choices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(6), pages 1203-13, Nov.-Dec..
  9. Hogan, Vincent & Ian Walker, 2002. "Education Choice under Uncertainty," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 103, Royal Economic Society.
  10. Harmon, Colm & Hogan, Vincent & Walker, Ian, 2003. "Dispersion in the economic return to schooling," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 205-214, April.
  11. Pereira, Pedro T. & Martins, Pedro S., 2001. "Is there a Return-Risk Link in Education?," IZA Discussion Papers 321, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Joop Hartog & Erik Plug & Luis Diaz Serrano & Jose Vieira, 2003. "Risk compensation in wages – a replication," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 639-647, July.
  13. Olson, Lawrence & White, Halbert & Shefrin, H M, 1979. "Optimal Investment in Schooling when Incomes are Risky," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(3), pages 522-39, June.
  14. Hartog, Joop & Vijverberg, Wim P., 2002. "Do Wages Really Compensate for Risk Aversion and Skewness Affection?," IZA Discussion Papers 426, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Kodde, David A, 1986. "Uncertainty and the Demand for Education," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(3), pages 460-67, August.
  16. Stacey Chen, 2001. "Is Investing in College Education Risky?," Discussion Papers 01-09, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
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