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Smoking, discount rates, and returns to education

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Abstract

Individual time preference determines schooling enrolment. Moreover, smoking behavior in early ages has been shown to be highly related to time preference rates. Accordingly, we use smoking at age 16 as an instrument for schooling in order to cope with ability bias in a returns to education regression. Doing this for Austrian cross-sectional data, we find no evidence of ability bias.

Suggested Citation

  • Josef Fersterer & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2000. "Smoking, discount rates, and returns to education," Economics working papers 2000-02, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  • Handle: RePEc:jku:econwp:2000_02
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. William N. Evans & Edward Montgomery, 1994. "Education and Health: Where There's Smoke There's an Instrument," NBER Working Papers 4949, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Belzil, Christian & Hansen, Jörgen, 1999. "Subjective Discount Rates, Intergenerational Transfers and the Return to Schooling," IZA Discussion Papers 60, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. 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.
    6. Victor R. Fuchs, 1982. "Time Preference and Health: An Exploratory Study," NBER Chapters,in: Economic Aspects of Health, pages 93-120 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
    8. Brunello, Giorgio, 2002. "Absolute risk aversion and the returns to education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 635-640, December.
    9. Fersterer, Josef & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2003. "Are Austrian returns to education falling over time?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 73-89, February.
    10. Phillip B. Levine & Tara A. Gustafson & Ann D. Velenchik, 1995. "More Bad News for Smokers? The Effects of Cigarette Smoking on Labor Market Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 5270, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Hessel Oosterbeek & Hans van Ophem, 2000. "Schooling choices: Preferences, discount rates, and rates of return," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 15-34.
    12. Lalith Munasinghe & Nachum Sicherman, 2000. "Why Do Dancers Smoke? Time Preference, Occupational Choice, and Wage Growth," NBER Working Papers 7542, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    returns to education; instrumental variables; ability bias; discount rates;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid

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