NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Teresa Romano

Goucher College

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

October 2014Recovering Ex Ante Returns and Preferences for Occupations using Subjective Expectations Data
with Peter Arcidiacono, V. Joseph Hotz, Arnaud Maurel: w20626
We show that data on subjective expectations, especially on outcomes from counterfactual choices and choice probabilities, are a powerful tool in recovering ex ante treatment effects as well as preferences for different treatments. In this paper we focus on the choice of occupation, and use elicited beliefs from a sample of male undergraduates at Duke University. By asking individuals about potential earnings associated with counterfactual choices of college majors and occupations, we can recover the distribution of the ex ante monetary returns to particular occupations, and how these returns vary across majors. We then propose a model of occupational choice which allows us to link subjective data on earnings and choice probabilities with the non-pecuniary preferences for each occupation. ...
 
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