NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Heterogeneous Economic Returns to Postsecondary Degrees: Evidence from Chile

Loreto Reyes, Jorge Rodríguez, Sergio S. Urzúa

NBER Working Paper No. 18817
Issued in February 2013
NBER Program(s):   ED   LS

We analyze the economic returns to different postsecondary degrees in Chile. We posit a schooling decision model with unobserved ability, observed test scores and labor market outcomes. We benefit from administrative records to carry out our empirical strategy. Our results show positive average returns to postsecondary degrees, especially for five-year degrees. However, we also uncover a large fraction of individuals with realized negative net returns. Although psychic benefits of postsecondary education could rationalize this result, we argue this might also suggest that individuals lack information at the time schooling decisions are made. Finally, our findings illustrate the importance of allowing for heterogeneous treatment effects when making policy recommendations.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w18817

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