NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Eleanor Wiske Dillon

Department of Economics
W.P. Carey School of Business
Arizona State University
501 E. Orange Street
Tempe, AZ 85287-9801

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

February 2017Self-Employment Dynamics and the Returns to Entrepreneurship
with Christopher T. Stanton: w23168
Small business owners and others in self-employment have the option to transition to paid work. If there is initial uncertainty about entrepreneurial earnings, this option increases the expected lifetime value of self-employment relative to pay in a single year. This paper first documents that moves between paid work and self-employment are common and consistent with experimentation to learn about earnings. This pattern motivates estimating the expected returns to entrepreneurship within a dynamic lifecycle model that allows for non-random selection and gradual learning about the entrepreneurial earnings process. The model accurately fits entry patterns into self-employment by age. The option value of returning to paid work is found to constitute a substantial portion of the monetary val...
August 2013The Determinants of Mismatch Between Students and Colleges
with Jeffrey Andrew Smith: w19286
We use the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 cohort to examine mismatch between student ability and college quality. Mismatch has implications for the design of state higher education systems and for student aid policy. The data indicate substantial amounts of both undermatch (high ability students at low quality colleges) and overmatch (low ability students at high quality colleges). Student application and enrollment decisions, rather than college admission decisions, drive most mismatch. Financial constraints, information, and the public college options facing each student all affect the probability of mismatch. More informed students attend higher quality colleges, even when doing so involves overmatching.

Dillon, Eleanor and Jeffrey Smith. 2015. “The Determinants of Mismatch Between Students and Colleges.” Journal of Labor Economics, forthcoming.

 
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