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

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  • Schnabel, Reinhold
  • Schnabel, Isabel

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Schnabel, Reinhold & Schnabel, Isabel, 2002. "Family and gender still matter: the heterogeneity of returns to education in Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 02-67, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:537
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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/24434/1/dp0267.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ichino, Andrea & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 1999. "Lower and upper bounds of returns to schooling: An exercise in IV estimation with different instruments," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 889-901, April.
    2. David Card, 1994. "Earnings, Schooling, and Ability Revisited," Working Papers 710, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    3. Susan N. Houseman & Katharine G. Abraham, 1995. "Earnings Inequality in Germany," Book chapters authored by Upjohn Institute researchers,in: Richard B. Freeman & Lawrence F. Katz (ed.), Differences and Changes in Wage Structures, pages 371-403 W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    4. 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.
    5. Bernd Fitzenberger & Reinhold Schnabel & Gaby Wunderlich, 2004. "The gender gap in labor market participation and employment: A cohort analysis for West Germany," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 17(1), pages 83-116, February.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Acemoglu, Daron & Pischke, J. -S., 2001. "Changes in the wage structure, family income, and children's education," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 890-904, May.
    9. Orley Ashenfelter & Cecilia Rouse, 1998. "Income, Schooling, and Ability: Evidence from a New Sample of Identical Twins," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(1), pages 253-284.
    10. Richard B. Freeman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1995. "Differences and Changes in Wage Structures," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free95-1.
    11. Griliches, Zvi, 1977. "Estimating the Returns to Schooling: Some Econometric Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(1), pages 1-22, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Flossmann Anton L. & Pohlmeier Winfried, 2006. "Causal Returns to Education: A Survey on Empirical Evidence for Germany," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 226(1), pages 6-23, February.
    2. Kathrin Göggel, 2007. "Sinkende Bildungsrenditen durch Bildungsreformen?: Evidenz aus Mikrozensus und SOEP," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 11, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    3. Bettina Lamla, 2012. "Family Background, Informal Networks and the Decision to Provide for Old Age: A Siblings Approach," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 466, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    4. repec:mea:meawpa:12261 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Bettina Lamla, 2013. "Family background and the decision to provide for old age: a siblings approach," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 40(3), pages 483-504, August.
    6. Göggel, Kathrin, 2007. "Sinkende Bildungsrenditen durch Bildungsreformen? Evidenz aus Mikrozensus und SOEP," ZEW Discussion Papers 07-017, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    7. Astrid Krenz, 2008. "Theorie und Empirie über den Wirkungszusammenhang zwischen sozialer Herkunft, kulturellem und sozialem Kapital, Bildung und Einkommen in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 128, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    8. repec:got:cegedp:108 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Cornelissen Thomas & Jirjahn Uwe & Tsertsvadze Georgi, 2008. "Parental Background and Earnings: German Evidence on Direct and Indirect Relationships," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 228(5-6), pages 554-572, October.
    10. Krenz, Astrid, 2010. "La distinction reloaded: Returns to education, family background, cultural and social capital in Germany," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 108, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Returns to education; siblings analysis; heterogeneity of returns;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

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