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Educational Attainment and Returns to Education in Germany: An Analysis by Subject of Degree, Gender and Region

  • Ammermüller, Andreas
  • Weber, Andrea Maria

This paper presents evidence on the development of educational attainment and its returns on the labor market in Germany in the time period 1985-2002. Returns to education are estimated using Mincer equations. We analyze microcensus data in addition to GSOEP data, which allows estimating returns to tertiary education separately by subject of degree for the first time for Germany in such detail. The data indicate an educational expansion, especially for women in West Germany, which is coherent with the relatively high returns to this group. One interesting finding is that each gender reaches the highest returns in those fields of study where its shares are relatively high. For women this is in the fields of studies to become teacher, while men lead in law, business and economics and engineering. Additionally, the returns are higher for most degree subjects in West than in East Germany, especially for women.

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Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 05-17.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:2907
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  1. Dustmann, C. & van Soest, A., 1997. "Public and Private Sector Wages of Male Workers in Germany," Economics Working Papers eco97/13, European University Institute.
  2. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
  3. Orley Ashenfelter & Colm Harmon & Hessel Oosterbeek, 2000. "A Review of Estimates of the Schooling/Earnings Relationship, with Tests for Publication Bias," NBER Working Papers 7457, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Wolfgang Franz & Viktor Steiner, 2000. "Wages in the East German Transition Process: Facts and Explanations," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 1(3), pages 241-269, 08.
  5. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
  6. Lauer, Charlotte & Steiner, Viktor, 2000. "Returns to education in West Germany: an empirical assessment," ZEW Discussion Papers 00-04, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  7. David Card, 1994. "Earnings, Schooling, and Ability Revisited," Working Papers 710, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  8. Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance John & Todd, Petra E., 2003. "Fifty Years of Mincer Earnings Regressions," IZA Discussion Papers 775, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Colm Harmon & Hessel Oosterbeek, 2000. "The Returns to Education: A Review of Evidence, Issues and Deficiencies in the Literature," CEE Discussion Papers 0005, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
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