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Education, Earnings, and the "Canadian G.I. Bill"

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  • Thomas Lemieux
  • David Card

Abstract

We use the unique experiences of Canadian World War II veterans to identify the effects of a large scale college subsidy program on educational attainment and earnings. Like the United States, Canada set up an extensive veteran's assistance program that provided financial aid and institutional support for college attendance. Because of differences in military enlistment rates and education systems, however, a much lower fraction of Quebec men benefited from VRA benefits than men from other provinces. Building on this fact, we analyze inter-cohort patterns of education and earnings for English- speaking men from Ontario, using French-speaking men from Quebec as a control group. We use data from the 1971 and 1981 Canadian Censuses to compare conventional (OLS) estimates of the return to schooling with instrumental variables (IV) estimates that use potential eligibility for VRA benefits as an exogenous determinant of schooling. Consistent with the recent literature, we find that the IV estimates are typically as big or bigger than the corresponding OLS estimates. We also explore an alternative identification strategy that utilizes information on family background available in the 1973 Canadian Job Mobility Survey. We hypothesize that veterans from relatively disadvantaged family backgrounds were more likely to be affected by the VRA's incentives than veterans from wealthier families. Using the interaction of veteran status and family background as an instrument for schooling, we again find rates of return to education as large or larger than the corresponding OLS estimates.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Lemieux & David Card, 1998. "Education, Earnings, and the "Canadian G.I. Bill"," NBER Working Papers 6718, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6718
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Belzil, Christian, 2007. "The return to schooling in structural dynamic models: a survey," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(5), pages 1059-1105, July.
    2. Giles, John & Park, Albert & Wang, Meiyan, 2008. "The great proletarian cultural revolution, disruptions to education, and returns to schooling in urban China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4729, The World Bank.
    3. Eric Maurin & Theodora Xenogiani, 2007. "Demand for Education and Labor Market Outcomes: Lessons from the Abolition of Compulsory Conscription in France," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(4).
    4. Ge, Suqin, 2013. "Estimating the returns to schooling: Implications from a dynamic discrete choice model," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 92-105.
    5. Giles, John T. & Park, Albert & Wang, Meiyan, 2015. "The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, Disruptions to Education, and the Returns to Schooling in Urban China," IZA Discussion Papers 8930, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. MacKinnon, Mary & Parent, Daniel, 2012. "Resisting the melting pot: The long term impact of maintaining identity for Franco-Americans in New England," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 30-59.
    7. Esther Duflo, 2001. "Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of School Construction in Indonesia: Evidence from an Unusual Policy Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 795-813, September.
    8. Atsuko Tanaka & Hsuan-Chih (Luke) Lin & Ha Nguyen, "undated". "Removing Disability Insurance Coverage: The Effects on Work Incentive and Occupation Choice," Working Papers 2016-37, Department of Economics, University of Calgary, revised 10 Jul 2016.
    9. Masakure, Oliver, 2016. "The effect of employee loyalty on wages," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 274-298.
    10. Campolieti, Michele & Riddell, Chris, 2012. "Disability policy and the labor market: Evidence from a natural experiment in Canada, 1998–2006," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(3), pages 306-316.
    11. Barr, Andrew, 2016. "Enlist or enroll: Credit constraints, college aid, and the military enlistment margin," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 61-78.
    12. Wang, Le, 2013. "Estimating returns to education when the IV sample is selective," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 74-85.
    13. Philippe Lemistre & Nicolas Moreau, 2009. "Spatial Mobility And Returns To Education: Some Evidence From A Sample Of French Youth," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(1), pages 149-176.
    14. Kyui, Natalia, 2016. "Expansion of higher education, employment and wages: Evidence from the Russian Transition," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 68-87.
    15. John Bound & Sarah Turner, 2002. "Going to War and Going to College: Did World War II and the G.I. Bill Increase Educational Attainment for Returning Veterans?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(4), pages 784-815, October.
    16. Lavy, Victor & Zablotsky, Alexander, 2015. "Women's schooling and fertility under low female labor force participation: Evidence from mobility restrictions in Israel," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 105-121.
    17. Andrew Barr, 2015. "From the Battlefield to the Schoolyard: The Short- Term Impact of the Post- 9/11 GI Bill," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(3), pages 580-613.
    18. Henderson, Daniel J. & Polachek, Solomon W. & Wang, Le, 2011. "Heterogeneity in schooling rates of return," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1202-1214.
    19. Xin Meng & Robert G Gregory, "undated". "Impact of Interupted Education on Earnings: The Educational Cost of the Chinese Cultural revolution," Canadian International Labour Network Working Papers 40, McMaster University.
    20. Joshua D. Angrist & Stacey H. Chen, 2007. "Long-term consequences of vietnam-era conscription: schooling, experience, and earnings," NBER Working Papers 13411, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Wang, Le, 2012. "Economic transition and college premium in urban China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 238-252.
    22. Card, David, 2001. "Estimating the Return to Schooling: Progress on Some Persistent Econometric Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(5), pages 1127-1160, September.
    23. Matthew Larsen & T. McCarthy & Jeremy Moulton & Marianne Page & Ankur Patel, 2015. "War and Marriage: Assortative Mating and the World War II GI Bill," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 52(5), pages 1431-1461, October.
    24. World Bank, 2007. "Cape Verde Investment Climate Assessment," World Bank Other Operational Studies 12305, The World Bank.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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