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Family and gender still matter: the heterogeneity of returns to education in Germany

  • Schnabel, Reinhold
  • Schnabel, Isabel

Using information on family background, we estimate returns to education, allowing for the heterogeneity of returns. In order to control for the unobserved heterogeneity shared by family members, we construct a siblings sample and employ family fixed-effects and family correlated random-effects models. Our main result is that family background still matters despite the substantial political efforts to equalize educational opportunities in Germany. Persons with less-educated parents earn lower wages, but have higher returns to education. This supports the view that persons from less-educated backgrounds still face higher marginal costs in the educational system. The same interplay between the wage level and marginal returns is found for the effect of gender and cohort.

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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 02-67.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:537
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  1. Griliches, Zvi, 1977. "Estimating the Returns to Schooling: Some Econometric Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(1), pages 1-22, January.
  2. Katharine G. Abraham & Susan Houseman, 1995. "Earnings Inequality in Germany," NBER Chapters, in: Differences and Changes in Wage Structures, pages 371-404 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Daron Acemoglu & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 2001. "Changes in the wage structure, family income, and children's education," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2471, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Richard B. Freeman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1995. "Differences and Changes in Wage Structures," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free95-1.
  5. David Card, 1994. "Earnings, Schooling, and Ability Revisited," NBER Working Papers 4832, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Reinhard Hujer & Bernd Fitzenberger & Reinhold Schnabel & Thomas E. MaCurdy, 2001. "Testing for uniform wage trends in West-Germany: A cohort analysis using quantile regressions for censored data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 41-86.
  7. Fitzenberger, Bernd & Schnabel, Reinhold & Wunderlich, Gaby, 2001. "The gender gap in labor market participation and employment: a cohort analysis for West Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 01-47, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  8. 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.
  9. Ichino, Andrea & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 1998. "Lower and Upper Bounds of Returns to Schooling: An Exercise in IV estimation with Different Instruments," CEPR Discussion Papers 2007, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. 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.
  11. Altonji, Joseph G & Dunn, Thomas A, 1996. "The Effects of Family Characteristics on the Return to Education," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(4), pages 692-704, November.
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