The Non-Market Benefits of Education and Ability

36 Pages Posted: 9 Oct 2017

See all articles by James J. Heckman

James J. Heckman

University of Chicago - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); American Bar Foundation; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

John Eric Humphries

Yale University, Department of Economics, Students

Greg Veramendi

Arizona State University (ASU) - Economics Department

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 2017

Abstract

This paper analyzes the non-market benefits of education and ability. Using a dynamic model of educational choice we estimate returns to education that account for selection bias and sorting on gains. We investigate a range of non-market outcomes including incarceration, mental health, voter participation, trust, and participation in welfare. We find distinct patterns of returns that depend on the levels of schooling and ability. Unlike the monetary benefits of education, the benefits to education for many non-market outcomes are greater for low-ability persons. College graduation decreases welfare use, lowers depression, and raises self-esteem more for less-able individuals.

Suggested Citation

Heckman, James J. and Humphries, John Eric and Veramendi, Greg, The Non-Market Benefits of Education and Ability (October 2017). NBER Working Paper No. w23896. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3049720

James J. Heckman (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Department of Economics ( email )

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John Eric Humphries

Yale University, Department of Economics, Students ( email )

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Greg Veramendi

Arizona State University (ASU) - Economics Department ( email )

Tempe, AZ 85287-3806
United States

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