Education and Self-Selection

45 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2004 Last revised: 8 Sep 2010

See all articles by Robert J. Willis

Robert J. Willis

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Sherwin Rosen

University of Chicago (Deceased)

Date Written: June 1978

Abstract

A structural model of the demand for college attendance is derived from the theory of comparative advantage and recent statistical models of self-selection and unobserved components. Estimates from NBER-Thorndike data strongly support the theory. First, expected lifetime earnings gains influence the decision to attend college. Second, those who did not attend college would have earned less than measurably similar people who did attend, while those who attended college would have earned less as high school graduates than measurably similar people who stopped after high school. Positive selection in both groups implies no "ability bias in these data.

Suggested Citation

Willis, Robert J. and Rosen, Sherwin, Education and Self-Selection (June 1978). NBER Working Paper No. w0249. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=260439

Robert J. Willis (Contact Author)

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Economics ( email )

611 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1220
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Sherwin Rosen

University of Chicago (Deceased)

N/A

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