Education and Self-Selection
45 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2004 Last revised: 8 Sep 2010
Date Written: June 1978
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.
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