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Post schooling human capital investments and the life cycle variance of earnings

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  • Magnac, Thierry
  • Pistolesi, Nicolas
  • Roux, Sébastien

Abstract

We propose an original model of human capital investments after leaving school in which individuals differ in their initial human capital obtained at school, their rate of return, their costs of human capital investments and their terminal values of human capital at a fixed date in the future. We derive a tractable reduced form Mincerian model of log earnings profiles along the life cycle which is written as a linear factor model in which levels, growth and curvature of earnings profiles are individual-specific. Using panel data from a single cohort of French male wage earners observed over a long span of 30 years, a random effect model is estimated first by pseudo maximum likelihood methods. This step is followed by a simple second step fixed effect method by which individual-specific structural parameters are estimated. This allows us to test restrictions, compute counterfactual profiles and evaluate how earnings inequality over the life-cycle is affected by changes in structural parameters. Under some conditions, even small changes in life expectancy seem to imply large changes in earnings inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Magnac, Thierry & Pistolesi, Nicolas & Roux, Sébastien, 2013. "Post schooling human capital investments and the life cycle variance of earnings," TSE Working Papers 13-380, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  • Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:26787
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    2. Bontemps, Christian & Cherbonnier, Frédéric & Magnac, Thierry, 2023. "Reducing transaction taxes on housing in highly regulated economies”," TSE Working Papers 23-1486, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    3. Brodaty, Thomas & Gary-Bobo, Robert J. & Prieto, Ana, 2014. "Do risk aversion and wages explain educational choices?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 125-148.
    4. Christian Belzil & Jorgen Hansen & Xingfei Liu, 2017. "Dynamic skill accumulation, education policies, and the return to schooling," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 8(3), pages 895-927, November.
    5. Bussink, Henri & ter Weel, Bas, 2022. "Costs and Benefits of an Individual Learning Account (ILA): A Simulation Analysis for the Netherlands," IZA Discussion Papers 15649, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Claire Lebarz, 2015. "Income Inequality and Household Debt Distribution: A Cross-Country Analysis using Wealth Surveys," LWS Working papers 20, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    7. Anders Stenberg & Olle Westerlund, 2013. "Education and retirement: does University education at mid-age extend working life?," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 2(1), pages 1-22, December.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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