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Educational expansion and its heterogeneous returns for wage workers

  • Gebel, Michael
  • Pfeiffer, Friedhelm

The paper examines the evolution of returns to education in the West German labour market over the last two decades. During this period, graduates from the period of educational expansion in the sixties and seventies entered the labour market and an upgrading of the skill structure took place. In order to tackle the issues of endogeneity of schooling and its heterogeneous returns we apply two estimation methods: Wooldridge?s (2004) approach that relies on conditional mean independence and Garen?s (1984) control function approach that requires an exclusion restriction. For the population of workers from the GSOEP, we find that both approaches produce estimates of average returns to education that decrease until the late 1990s and increase significantly afterwards. In the observation period, the gender gap in returns to education seems to vanish. Furthermore, we find that the so called ?baby boomer? cohort has the lowest average return to education in young ages. However, this effect disappears when they become older.

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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 07-010.

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Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:5497
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  1. Ammermüller, Andreas & Weber, Andrea Maria, 2005. "Educational Attainment and Returns to Education in Germany: An Analysis by Subject of Degree, Gender and Region," ZEW Discussion Papers 05-17, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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  5. Sascha BECKER & Frank SIEBERN-THOMAS, 2001. "Returns to Education in Germany: A Variable Treatment Intensity Approach," Economics Working Papers ECO2001/09, European University Institute.
  6. Michael Maier & Friedhelm Pfeiffer & Winfried Pohlmeier, 2003. "Overeducation and Individual Heterogeneity," Working Papers of the Research Group Heterogenous Labor 03-01, Research Group Heterogeneous Labor, University of Konstanz/ZEW Mannheim.
  7. Taber, Christopher R, 2001. "The Rising College Premium in the Eighties: Return to College or Return to Unobserved Ability?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(3), pages 665-91, July.
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  15. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, 1976. "Child Endowments, and the Quantity and Quality of Children," NBER Working Papers 0123, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  17. Griliches, Zvi, 1977. "Estimating the Returns to Schooling: Some Econometric Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(1), pages 1-22, January.
  18. Alexandra Spitz-Oener, 2006. "Technical Change, Job Tasks, and Rising Educational Demands: Looking outside the Wage Structure," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(2), pages 235-270, April.
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  22. Gernandt, Johannes & Pfeiffer, Friedhelm, 2005. "Einstiegslöhne bei unvollkommenen Arbeitsmärkten," ZEW Discussion Papers 05-26, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  23. James J. Heckman & Edward J. Vytlacil, 2000. "Instrumental Variables, Selection Models, and Tight Bounds on the Average Treatment Effect," NBER Technical Working Papers 0259, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  25. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias, 2000. "Evaluation methods for non-experimental data," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(4), pages 427-468, January.
  26. 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.
  27. Pischke, Jörn-Steffen & Wachter, Till von, 2005. "Zero Returns to Compulsory Schooling in Germany: Evidence and Interpretation," IZA Discussion Papers 1645, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  28. Dustmann, Christian, 2001. "Parental Background, Primary to Secondary School Transitions, and Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 367, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  31. 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.
  32. Hanushek, Eric A, 1992. "The Trade-Off between Child Quantity and Quality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 84-117, February.
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