Heterogeneity in Marginal Non-Monetary Returns to Higher Education

47 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2016

See all articles by Daniel Kamhoefer

Daniel Kamhoefer

Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf

Hendrik Schmitz

University of Duisburg-Essen - Department of Economics and Business Administration

Matthias Westphal

University of Duisburg-Essen

Date Written: November 25, 2015

Abstract

In this paper we estimate the effects of college education on cognitive abilities and health exploiting exogenous variation in college availability and student loan regulations. By means of semiparametric local instrumental variables techniques we estimate marginal treatment effects in an environment of essential heterogeneity.

The results suggest heterogeneous but always positive effects on cognitive skills and homogeneously positive effects for all health outcomes but mental health, where the effects are around zero throughout. We find that likely mechanisms of positive physical health returns are effects of college education on physically demanding activities on the job and health behavior such as smoking and drinking while mentally more demanding jobs might explain the skill returns.

Keywords: Returns to higher education, cognitive abilities, health, marginal treatment effect

JEL Classification: C31, H52, I12, I21

Suggested Citation

Kamhoefer, Daniel and Schmitz, Hendrik and Westphal, Matthias, Heterogeneity in Marginal Non-Monetary Returns to Higher Education (November 25, 2015). Ruhr Economic Paper No. 591, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2721681 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2721681

Daniel Kamhoefer

Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf ( email )

Universitätsstrasse 1
Duesseldorf, DE NRW 40225
Germany

Hendrik Schmitz

University of Duisburg-Essen - Department of Economics and Business Administration ( email )

Universitätsstr. 9
Essen, 45141
Germany

Matthias Westphal (Contact Author)

University of Duisburg-Essen ( email )

Lotharstrasse 1
Duisburg, 47048
Germany

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