IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Consumption Value of College


  • Yifan Gong
  • Lance Lochner
  • Ralph Stinebrickner
  • Todd R. Stinebrickner


This paper uses the Euler equation and novel data from Berea College students on their consumption expenditures during and after college, desired borrowing amounts, beliefs about post-college earnings, and elicited risk-aversion and time preference parameters to determine their consumption value of college attendance. Estimates suggest an average annual consumption value of college as high as $11,600, with considerable heterogeneity across students. Incorporating these benefits raises the average expected return to college by as much as 14%.

Suggested Citation

  • Yifan Gong & Lance Lochner & Ralph Stinebrickner & Todd R. Stinebrickner, 2019. "The Consumption Value of College," NBER Working Papers 26335, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26335
    Note: ED LS

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to the full text is generally limited to series subscribers, however if the top level domain of the client browser is in a developing country or transition economy free access is provided. More information about subscriptions and free access is available at Free access is also available to older working papers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • I26 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Returns to Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    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:nbr:nberwo:26335. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.