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Educational expansion and its heterogeneous returns for wage workers

Listed author(s):
  • 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
Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:5497
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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. 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.
  3. Walker, Ian & Zhu, Yu, 2005. "The College Wage Premium, Overeducation, and the Expansion of Higher Education in the UK," IZA Discussion Papers 1627, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Jörn-Steffen Pischke & Till von Wachter, 2008. "Zero Returns to Compulsory Schooling in Germany: Evidence and Interpretation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 592-598, August.
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  11. 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.
  12. Garen, John, 1984. "The Returns to Schooling: A Selectivity Bias Approach with a Continuous Choice Variable," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(5), pages 1199-1218, September.
  13. Daron Acemoglu, 2000. "Technical Change, Inequality, and the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 7800, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Richard B. Freeman, 1979. "The Effect of Demographic Factors on Age-Earnings Profiles," NBER Working Papers 0316, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance J. & Todd, Petra E., 2006. "Earnings Functions, Rates of Return and Treatment Effects: The Mincer Equation and Beyond," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  16. Gernandt, Johannes & Pfeiffer, Friedhelm, 2006. "Rising Wage Inequality in Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-19 [rev.], ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  17. Richard Blundell & Lorraine Dearden & Barbara Sianesi, 2004. "Evaluating the Impact of Education on Earnings in the UK: Models, Methods and Results from the NCDS," CEE Discussion Papers 0047, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  18. Boockmann, Bernhard & Steiner, Viktor, 2000. "Cohort effects and the returns to education in West Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 00-05, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  19. 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.
  20. James J. Heckman & Lance J. Lochner & Petra E. Todd, 2008. "Earnings Functions And Rates Of Return," Working Papers 200831, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  21. Heckman, James J, 1978. "Dummy Endogenous Variables in a Simultaneous Equation System," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(4), pages 931-959, July.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2006. "The Polarization of the U.S. Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 189-194, May.
  25. 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.
  26. Willis, Robert J & Rosen, Sherwin, 1979. "Education and Self-Selection," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 7-36, October.
  27. Christopher R. Taber, 2001. "The Rising College Premium in the Eighties: Return to College or Return to Unobserved Ability?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(3), pages 665-691.
  28. Diane J. Macunovich, 1999. "The fortunes of one's birth: Relative cohort size and the youth labor market in the United States," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 12(2), pages 215-272.
  29. 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.
  30. Sascha BECKER & Frank SIEBERN-THOMAS, 2001. "Returns to Education in Germany: A Variable Treatment Intensity Approach," Economics Working Papers ECO2001/09, European University Institute.
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. 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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