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Estimating the returns to education : accounting for heterogeneity in ability

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  • Patrinos, Harry Anthony
  • Ridao-Cano, Cris
  • Sakellariou, Chris

Abstract

Typically estimates of the benefits of education investments show average private rates of return for the average individual. The average may not be useful for policy. An examination of the distribution of the returns across individuals is needed. The few studies that have examined these patterns focus on high-income countries, showing investments to be more profitable at the top of the income distribution. The implication is that investments may increase inequality. Extending the analysis to 16 East Asian and Latin American countries the authors observe mixed evidence in middle-income countries and decreasing returns in low-income countries. Such differences between countries could be due to more job mobility in industrial countries, scarcity of skills, or differential exposure to market forces.

Suggested Citation

  • Patrinos, Harry Anthony & Ridao-Cano, Cris & Sakellariou, Chris, 2006. "Estimating the returns to education : accounting for heterogeneity in ability," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4040, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4040
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Kadir, Kadir & Weni Lidya, Sukma, 2019. "Returns to Education and Wages Distribution in Indonesia: A Comparison across Gender Groups," MPRA Paper 94929, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 25 Apr 2019.
    6. Le Wang, 2013. "How Does Education Affect the Earnings Distribution in Urban China?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 75(3), pages 435-454, June.
    7. Barry R. Chiswick & Paul W. Miller, 2018. "Do native-born bilinguals in the US earn more?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 563-583, September.
    8. Driouchi, Ahmed & Zouag, Nada, 2010. "Internal Mobility and Likelihood of Skill Losses in Localities of Emigration: Theory and Preliminary Empirical Application to Some Developing Economies," MPRA Paper 21799, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Apr 2010.
    9. Bosworth, Barry & Collins, Susan M. & Virmani, Arvind, 2007. "Sources of Growth in the Indian Economy," India Policy Forum, National Council of Applied Economic Research, vol. 3(1), pages 1-69.
    10. Muhammed Refeque & P. Azad, 2022. "How do linguistic and technical skills affect earnings in India?," Indian Economic Review, Springer, vol. 57(1), pages 23-57, June.
    11. Yubilianto, 2020. "Return to education and financial value of investment in higher education in Indonesia," Journal of Economic Structures, Springer;Pan-Pacific Association of Input-Output Studies (PAPAIOS), vol. 9(1), pages 1-28, December.
    12. Susan Namirembe Kavuma & Oliver Morrissey & Richard Upward, 2015. "Private Returns to Education for Wage-employees and the Self-employed in Uganda," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2015-021, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    13. Kendrick, Neil, 2013. "Educação para todos –“free to those who can afford it”: human capital and inequality persistence in 21st c Brazil," Economic History Working Papers 50970, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
    14. Tran, Tuyen Quang & Hung Pham, Hiep & Thi Vo, Hoa & Thuy Luu, Hong & Mai Nguyen, Huong, 2019. "Local governance, education and occupation-education mismatch: Heterogeneous effects on wages in a lower middle income economy," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 71(C).
    15. Ian Coxhead & Rashesh Shrestha, 2016. "Could a Resource Export Boom Reduce Workers’ Earnings? The Labour-Market Channel in Indonesia," Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 52(2), pages 185-208, May.
    16. Marcela Meléndez Arjona & Arturo Harker Roa, 2008. "Revisiting economic growth in Colombia. A microeconomic perspective," WORKING PAPERS SERIES. DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO 009137, FEDESARROLLO.
    17. Quang Tran, Tuyen & Anh Tran, Tai & The Tran, Nu & Thi Nguyen, Hai, 2018. "Education and the livelihood of households in the Northwest Region, Vietnam," MPRA Paper 90414, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 17 May 2018.
    18. Peng, Jiaqi & Li, Jun & Ma, Ling & Lv, Zhiwang, 2023. "The Contribution of Work Experience on Earnings Inequality of Migrant Workers: Decompositions Based on the Quantile Regression Equation," Research on World Agricultural Economy, Nan Yang Academy of Sciences Pte Ltd (NASS), vol. 4(1), April.
    19. Diego Azqueta Oyarzun & Guillermina Gavaldon, 2014. "The economic assessment of education: Social Efficiency or Social Reconstruction?," Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación volume 9, in: Adela García Aracil & Isabel Neira Gómez (ed.), Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 9, edition 1, volume 9, chapter 51, pages 969-978, Asociación de Economía de la Educación.
    20. Wright, Nicholas A., 2021. "Need-based financing policies, college decision-making, and labor market behavior: Evidence from Jamaica," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 150(C).
    21. Losina Purnastuti & Paul W. Miller & Ruhul Salim, 2013. "Declining rates of return to education: evidence for Indonesia," Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(2), pages 213-236, August.
    22. Stefan Gravemeyer & Thomas Gries, 2010. "Income and disparity in Germany and China," Working Papers CIE 30, Paderborn University, CIE Center for International Economics.
    23. Rodrigo Azuero & David Zarruk Valencia, 2016. "The Effects of Student Loans on the Provision and Demand for Higher Education," PIER Working Paper Archive 17-020, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 22 Oct 2017.
    24. Oliver Morrissey & Susan Namirembe Kavuma & Richard Upward, 2015. "Private returns to education for wage-employees and the self-employed in Uganda," WIDER Working Paper Series 021, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    25. Michelle Riboud & Yevgeniya Savchenko & Hong Tan, 2007. "The Knowledge Economy and Education and Training in South Asia," World Bank Publications - Reports 19637, The World Bank Group.

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    Keywords

    Access&Equity in Basic Education; Education For All; Teaching and Learning; Primary Education; Education and Society; Economics of Education;
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