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Heterogeneous Economic Returns to Postsecondary Degrees: Evidence from Chile

Author

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  • Loreto Reyes
  • Jorge Rodríguez
  • Sergio S. Urzúa

Abstract

We analyze the economic returns to different postsecondary degrees in Chile. We posit a schooling decision model with unobserved ability, observed test scores and labor market outcomes. We benefit from administrative records to carry out our empirical strategy. Our results show positive average returns to postsecondary degrees, especially for five-year degrees. However, we also uncover a large fraction of individuals with realized negative net returns. Although psychic benefits of postsecondary education could rationalize this result, we argue this might also suggest that individuals lack information at the time schooling decisions are made. Finally, our findings illustrate the importance of allowing for heterogeneous treatment effects when making policy recommendations.

Suggested Citation

  • Loreto Reyes & Jorge Rodríguez & Sergio S. Urzúa, 2013. "Heterogeneous Economic Returns to Postsecondary Degrees: Evidence from Chile," NBER Working Papers 18817, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18817
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Willis, Robert J & Rosen, Sherwin, 1979. "Education and Self-Selection," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 7-36, October.
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    12. Justine S. Hastings & Christopher A. Neilson & Seth D. Zimmerman, 2013. "Are Some Degrees Worth More than Others? Evidence from college admission cutoffs in Chile," NBER Working Papers 19241, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. James J. Heckman & John Eric Humphries & Sergio Urzua & Gregory Veramendi, 2010. "The effects of educational choices on labor market, health, and social outcomes," Working Papers 2011-002, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Kirkebøen, Lars & Leuven, Edwin & Mogstad, Magne, 2014. "Field of Study, Earnings, and Self-Selection," Memorandum 29/2014, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    2. Rojas, Eugenio & Sánchez, Rafael & Villena, Mauricio G., 2016. "Credit constraints in higher education in a context of unobserved heterogeneity," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 225-250.
    3. W. Bentley MacLeod & Evan Riehl & Juan E. Saavedra & Miguel Urquiola, 2017. "The Big Sort: College Reputation and Labor Market Outcomes," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 223-261, July.
    4. Nora Lustig & Luis F. Lopez-Calva & Eduardo Ortiz-Juarez, 2013. "Deconstructing the Decline in Inequality in Latin America," Working Papers 1314, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
    5. Katja Maria Kaufmann & Matthias Messner & Alex Solis, 2013. "Returns to Elite Higher Education in the Marriage Market: Evidence from Chile," Working Papers 489, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    6. Justine Hastings & Christopher A. Neilson & Seth D. Zimmerman, 2015. "The Effects of Earnings Disclosure on College Enrollment Decisions," NBER Working Papers 21300, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Hastings, Justine S. & Neilson, Christopher A. & Ramirez, Anely & Zimmerman, Seth D., 2016. "(Un)informed college and major choice: Evidence from linked survey and administrative data," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 136-151.
    8. Busso, Matias & Dinkelman, Taryn & Claudia Martínez, A. & Romero, Dario, 2017. "The effects of financial aid and returns information in selective and less selective schools: Experimental evidence from Chile," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 79-91.
    9. Nicolas Grau, 2013. "The Impact of College Admissions Policies on The Performance of High School Students," PIER Working Paper Archive 13-040, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    10. Busso, Matias & Dinkelman, Taryn & Claudia Martínez, A. & Romero, Dario, 2017. "The effects of financial aid and returns information in selective and less selective schools: Experimental evidence from Chile," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 79-91.
    11. Adriana Camacho & Julián Messina & Juan Pablo Uribe, 2017. "The Expansion of Higher Education in Colombia: Bad Students or Bad Programs?," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 015352, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    12. Seth D. Zimmerman, 2016. "Making the One Percent: The Role of Elite Universities and Elite Peers," NBER Working Papers 22900, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Radchenko, Natalia, 2014. "Heterogeneity in Informal Salaried Employment: Evidence from the Egyptian Labor Market Survey," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 169-188.
    14. Carolina González-Velosa & Graciana Rucci & Miguel Sarzosa & Sergio Urzúa, 2015. "Returns to Higher Education in Chile and Colombia," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 88676, Inter-American Development Bank.
    15. Biewen, Martin & Tapalaga, Madalina, 2017. "Early Tracking, Academic vs. Vocational Training and the Value of 'Second Chance' Options," IZA Discussion Papers 11080, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • C38 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Classification Methdos; Cluster Analysis; Principal Components; Factor Analysis
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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