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Education choice under uncertainty : implications for public policy

  • Vincent (Vincent Peter) Hogan
  • Ian Walker

We analyse how progressive taxation and education subsidies affect schooling decisions when the returns to education are stochastic. We use the theory of real options to solve the problem of education choice in a dynamic stochastic model. We show that education attainment will be an increasing function of the risk associated with education. Furthermore, this result holds regardless of the degree of risk aversion. We also show that progressive taxes will tend to increase education attainment.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/953
File Function: First version, 2006
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Paper provided by School of Economics, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 200615.

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Date of creation: Nov 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:200615
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  1. Belzil, Christian & Hansen, Jörgen, 2002. "Earnings Dispersion, Risk Aversion and Education," CEPR Discussion Papers 3600, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M.R.A. Engel, 1996. "Explaining Investment Dynamics in U.S. Manufacturing: A Generalized (S,s) Approach," Documentos de Trabajo 12, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
  3. Michael P. Keane & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1995. "The career decisions of young men," Working Papers 559, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  4. Jeff Dominitz & Charles F. Manski, 1996. "Eliciting Student Expectations of the Returns to Schooling," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(1), pages 1-26.
  5. Jonathan Eaton & Harvey S. Rosen, 1979. "Taxation, Human Capital and Uncertainty," Working Papers 497, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  6. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number minc74-1, June.
  7. Williams, Joseph T, 1979. "Uncertainty and the Accumulation of Human Capital over the Life Cycle," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(4), pages 521-48, October.
  8. James J. Heckman & Lance Lochner & Christopher Taber, 1998. "Tax Policy and Human Capital Formation," NBER Working Papers 6462, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Vincent (Vincent Peter) Hogan & Ian Walker, 2003. "Education choice under uncertainty and public policy," Working Papers 200302, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  10. Colm Harmon & Vincent (Vincent Peter) Hogan & Ian Walker, 2001. "Dispersion in the economic return to schooling," Working Papers 200116, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  11. Altonji, Joseph G, 1993. "The Demand for and Return to Education When Education Outcomes Are Uncertain," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(1), pages 48-83, January.
  12. Uusitalo, R. & Conneely, K., 1998. "Estimating Heterogeneous Treatment Effects in the Becker Schooling Model," University of Helsinki, Department of Economics 435, Department of Economics.
  13. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Introduction to "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings"," NBER Chapters, in: Schooling, Experience, and Earnings, pages 1-4 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Carneiro, Pedro & Hansen, Karsten & Heckman, James, 2003. "Estimating distributions of treatment effects with an application to the returns to schooling and measurement of the effects of uncertainty on college choice," Working Paper Series 2003:9, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  15. David Card, 2000. "Estimating the Return to Schooling: Progress on Some Persistent Econometric Problems," NBER Working Papers 7769, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. James J. Heckman & Lance J. Lochner & Petra E. Todd, 2003. "Fifty Years of Mincer Earnings Regressions," NBER Working Papers 9732, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Judd, Kenneth L, 1998. "Taxes, Uncertainty, and Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 289-92, May.
  18. Pedro Carneiro & Karsten T. Hansen & James J. Heckman, 2003. "Estimating Distributions of Treatment Effects with an Application to the Returns to Schooling and Measurement of the Effects of Uncertainty on College," NBER Working Papers 9546, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Denny, K.J. & Harmon, C.P., 1999. "Testing for Sheepskin Effects in Earnings Equations: Evidence for Five Countries," Papers 99/21, College Dublin, Department of Political Economy-.
  20. Hogan, Vincent & Ian Walker, 2002. "Education Choice under Uncertainty," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 103, Royal Economic Society.
  21. Trostel, Philip A, 1993. "The Effect of Taxation on Human Capital," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 327-50, April.
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