NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Education and Self-Selection

Robert J. Willis, Sherwin Rosen

NBER Working Paper No. 249 (Also Reprint No. r0043)
Issued in June 1978
NBER Program(s):   LS

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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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w0249

Published: Willis, Robert J. and Rosen, Sherwin. "Education and Self-Selection." Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 87, No. 5, (October 1979), Part 2, pp. S7-S36 . citation courtesy of

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