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Zvi Griliches' Contribution to the Theory of Human Capital

  • Reuben Gronau

The paper discusses Zvi Griliches' contribution to the estimation of the earning function. The topic was the central theme of Griliches' research agenda during the 70s. Griliches played a major role in the ability- schooling controversy of the time. He was instrumental in repelling the attack of the revisionists' on the Theory of Human Capital, and the claim that the schooling effect in the earning function is merely an artifact of the true ability' and family background' effects. Griliches lacked at the time the proper data to prove unequivocally that the ability bias plays only a minor role in the estimation of the rate of return to schooling. He was, however, able to show that the seemingly foolproof evidence of his opponents suffers from serious biases due to the endogeneity and the measurement errors in the schooling variable. His assertion that the standard OLS estimator is biased downward, rather than upward, has been shown true by future research.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10081.

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Date of creation: Nov 2003
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Publication status: published as Zvi Griliches' Contribution to the Theory of Human Capital , Reuben Gronau. in Contributions in Memory of Zvi Griliches , Mairesse and Trajtenberg. 2010
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10081
Note: LS
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  1. Ashenfelter, Orley & Krueger, Alan B, 1994. "Estimates of the Economic Returns to Schooling from a New Sample of Twins," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1157-73, December.
  2. Griliches, Zvi, 1977. "Estimating the Returns to Schooling: Some Econometric Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(1), pages 1-22, January.
  3. Behrman, Jere R. & Rosenzweig, Mark R., 1999. ""Ability" biases in schooling returns and twins: a test and new estimates," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 159-167, April.
  4. Griliches, Zvi, 1976. "Wages of Very Young Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages S69-85, August.
  5. Robert J. Willis & Sherwin Rosen, 1978. "Education and Self-Selection," NBER Working Papers 0249, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Behrman, Jere R & Birdsall, Nancy, 1985. "The Quality of Schooling: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 1202-05, December.
  7. Griliches, Zvi & Mason, William M, 1972. "Education, Income, and Ability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(3), pages S74-S103, Part II, .
  8. Parsons, Donald O, 1972. "Specific Human Capital: An Application to Quit Rates and Layoff Rates," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(6), pages 1120-43, Nov.-Dec..
  9. F. Thomas Juster, 1966. "Introduction and Summary," NBER Chapters, in: Consumer Buying Intentions and Purchase Probability: An Experiment in Survey Design, pages 1-4 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Hause, John C, 1972. "Earnings Profile: Ability and Schooling," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(3), pages S108-S38, Part II, .
  11. Paul Taubman & Terence Wales, 1975. "Education as an Investment and a Screening Device," NBER Chapters, in: Education, Income, and Human Behavior, pages 95-122 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Zvi Griliches, 1970. "Notes on the Role of Education in Production Functions and Growth Accounting," NBER Chapters, in: Education, Income, and Human Capital, pages 71-127 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. F. Thomas Juster, 1975. "Education, Income, and Human Behavior," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number just75-1, May.
  14. David Card & Alan Krueger, 1996. "School Resources and Student Outcomes: An Overview of the Literature and New Evidence from North and South Carolina," NBER Working Papers 5708, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Neumark, David, 1999. "Biases in twin estimates of the return to schooling," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 143-148, April.
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  17. Bound, John & Griliches, Zvi & Hall, Bronwyn H, 1986. "Wages, Schooling and IQ of Brothers and Sisters: Do the Family Factors Differ?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(1), pages 77-105, February.
  18. Behrman, Jere R & Rosenzweig, Mark R & Taubman, Paul, 1994. "Endowments and the Allocation of Schooling in the Family and in the Marriage Market: The Twins Experiment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(6), pages 1131-74, December.
  19. Yoram Ben-Porath, 1967. "The Production of Human Capital and the Life Cycle of Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 352.
  20. Milton Friedman & Simon Kuznets, 1954. "Income from Independent Professional Practice," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie54-1, May.
  21. Lillard, Lee A, 1977. "Inequality: Earnings vs. Human Wealth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 42-53, March.
  22. Zvi Griliches, 1958. "Research Costs and Social Returns: Hybrid Corn and Related Innovations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 419.
  23. Alan B. Krueger & Timothy Taylor, 2000. "An Interview with Zvi Griliches," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(2), pages 171-189, Spring.
  24. Blaug, Mark, 1976. "The Empirical Status of Human Capital Theory: A Slightly Jaundiced Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 827-55, September.
  25. 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.
  26. Card, David, 2001. "Estimating the Return to Schooling: Progress on Some Persistent Econometric Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(5), pages 1127-60, September.
  27. Jacob Mincer, 1958. "Investment in Human Capital and Personal Income Distribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 281.
  28. Rouse, Cecilia Elena, 1999. "Further estimates of the economic return to schooling from a new sample of twins," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 149-157, April.
  29. Griliches, Zvi, 1979. "Sibling Models and Data in Economics: Beginnings of a Survey," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages S37-64, October.
  30. Katz, Lawrence F. & Autor, David H., 1999. "Changes in the wage structure and earnings inequality," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1463-1555 Elsevier.
  31. Chamberlain, Gary & Griliches, Zvi, 1975. "Unobservables with a Variance-Components Structure: Ability, Schooling, and the Economic Success of Brothers," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 16(2), pages 422-49, June.
  32. Paul J. Taubman & Terence Wales, 1974. "Higher Education and Earnings: College as an Investment and Screening Device," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number taub74-1, May.
  33. Riley, John G, 1979. "Testing the Educational Screening Hypothesis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages S227-52, October.
  34. Spence, A Michael, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-74, August.
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