NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Estimating Marginal Returns to Education

Pedro Carneiro, James J. Heckman, Edward J. Vytlacil

NBER Working Paper No. 16474
Issued in October 2010
NBER Program(s):   ED

This paper estimates the marginal returns to college for individuals induced to enroll in college by different marginal policy changes. The recent instrumental variables literature seeks to estimate this parameter, but in general it does so only under strong assumptions that are tested and found wanting. We show how to utilize economic theory and local instrumental variables estimators to estimate the effect of marginal policy changes. Our empirical analysis shows that returns are higher for individuals with values of unobservables that make them more likely to attend college. We contrast the returns to well-defined marginal policy changes with IV estimates of the return to schooling. Some marginal policy changes inducing students into college produce very low returns.

download in pdf format
   (825 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (825 K) or via email.

An online appendix is available for this publication.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w16474

Published: Pedro Carneiro & James J. Heckman & Edward J. Vytlacil, 2011. "Estimating Marginal Returns to Education," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2754-81, October. citation courtesy of

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Oreopoulos and Petronijevic w19053 Making College Worth It: A Review of Research on the Returns to Higher Education
Reinhart and Rogoff w14656 The Aftermath of Financial Crises
Acemoglu and Angrist w7444 How Large are the Social Returns to Education? Evidence from Compulsory Schooling Laws
Card w4483 Using Geographic Variation in College Proximity to Estimate the Return to Schooling
Moffitt w13534 Estimating Marginal Returns to Higher Education in the UK
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us