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Alternative Instruments for Institutional Quality and the Effect of European Settlements on Economic Development

  • Kevin Denny

    (University College Dublin)

  • Vincent O'Sullivan

    (University College Dublin)

This paper uses cross section data to investigate whether education and ability are substitutes or complements in the determination of earnings. Using a measure of cognitive ability based on tests taken at ages 7 and 11 we find, unlike most of the existing literature, clear evidence that the return to schooling is lower for those with higher ability indicating that education can act as a substitute for observed ability. We also estimate quantile regression functions to examine how the return to schooling varies across the conditional distribution of earnings. The results show that the return is lower for higher quantiles, suggesting that education is also a substitute for unobserved ability.

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File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/economics/research/papers/2004/WP04.20.pdf
File Function: First version, 2004
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by School Of Economics, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 200420.

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Length: 11 pages
Date of creation: 07 Jun 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:200420
Contact details of provider: Postal: UCD, Belfield, Dublin 4
Phone: +353-1-7067777
Fax: +353-1-283 0068
Web page: http://www.ucd.ie/economics

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  1. Colm Harmon & Hessel Oosterbeek & Ian Walker, 2003. "The Returns to Education: Microeconomics," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(2), pages 115-156, 04.
  2. James Heckman & Pedro Carneiro, 2003. "Human Capital Policy," NBER Working Papers 9495, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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, .
  4. Telhado Pereira, Pedro & Silva Martins, Pedro, 2002. "Is there a return-risk link in education?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 31-37, March.
  5. Orley Ashenfelter & Cecilia Rouse, 1998. "Income, Schooling, And Ability: Evidence From A New Sample Of Identical Twins," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(1), pages 253-284, February.
  6. Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
  7. Melissa Osborne & Herbert Gintis & Samuel Bowles, 2001. "The Determinants of Earnings: A Behavioral Approach," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1137-1176, December.
  8. Blackburn, McKinley L & Neumark, David, 1993. "Omitted-Ability Bias and the Increase in the Return to Schooling," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(3), pages 521-44, July.
  9. John Cawley & James Heckman & Edward Vytlacil, 1998. "Understanding the Role of Cognitive Ability in Accounting for the Recent Rise in the Economic Return to Education," NBER Working Papers 6388, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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