NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Life Cycle Schooling and Dynamic Selection Bias: Models and Evidence for Five Cohorts

Stephen V. Cameron, James J. Heckman

NBER Working Paper No. 6385
Issued in January 1998
NBER Program(s):   CH   LS

This paper examines an empirical regularity found in many societies: that family influences on the probability of transiting from one grade level to the next diminish at higher levels of education. We examine the statistical model used to establish the empirical regularity and the intuitive behavioral interpretation often used to rationalize it. We show that the implicit economic model assumes myopia. The intuitive interpretive model is identified only by imposing arbitrary distributional assumptions onto the data. We produce an alternative choice-theoretic model with fewer parameters that rationalizes the same data and is not based on arbitrary distributional assumptions.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w6385

Published: Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 106, no. 2 (April 1998).

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