References list

1a Rates of return to education, costs and benefits

Where possible, the list provides abstracts of the entries and links to the publication.
Initial list compiled by: George Psacharopoulos.

This reference list contains three parts:

  • Introductory Reading
    Somebody who does not know this literature or wants to get an overview might want to start here.
  • Key References
    Some of the most important references in this literature, which may require some more knowledge of the field.
  • Further Reading
    Organized by date of publication.

Introductory Reading

  1. Borjas, George J. (2016). Labor Economics. New York: McGraw-Hill Education . Link.

  2. Dickson, Matt and Colm Harmon (2011). Economic returns to education: What We Know, What We Don’t Know, and Where We Are Going—Some brief pointers. In: Economics of Education Review 30(6) , 1118-1122 . Abstract. Link.

  3. Hanushek, Eric A. and Ludger Woessmann (2008). The Role of Cognitive Skills in Economic Development. In: Journal of Economic Literature 46 (3) , 607-668 . Abstract. Link.

  4. Harmon, Colm, Hessel Oosterbeek and Ian Walker (2003). The Returns to Education: Microeconomics. In: Journal of Economic Surveys 17(2) , 115-155 . Abstract. Link.

  5. Johnes, Geraint (1993). The Economics of Education. London: Macmillan . Abstract. Link.

  6. Meghir, Costas and Steven Rivkin (2011). Econometric Methods for Research in Education. In: Eric A. Hanushek, Stephen Machin and Ludger Woessmann (eds.). Handbook of the Economics of Education, Volume 3. Amsterdam: North Holland , 1-87 . Abstract. Link.

  7. Oreopoulos, Philip and Kjell G. Salvanes (2011). Priceless: The Nonpecuniary Benefits of Schooling. In: Journal of Economic Perspectives 25(1) , 159-184 . Abstract. Link.

  8. Psacharopoulos, George (1987b). The Cost-Benefit Model. In: George Psacharopoulos (ed.). Economics of Education: Research and Studies. Oxford: Pergamon Press , 342-347 . Abstract. Link.

  9. Psacharopoulos, George (1987a). Earnings Functions. In: George Psacharopoulos (ed.). Economics of Education: Research and Studies. Oxford: Pergamon Press , 218-223 . Abstract. Link.

  10. Psacharopoulos, George and Harry Anthony Patrinos (2004). Human Capital and Rates of Return. In: Johnes, Geraint and Jill Johnes (eds.). International Handbook on the Economics of Education. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar , 01-57 . Abstract. Link.

  11. Weiss, Andrew (1995). Human Capital vs. Signalling Explanations of Wages. In: Journal of Economic Perspectives 9(4) , 133-154 . Abstract. Link.

Key references

  1. Altonji, Joseph G. (1993). The Demand for and Return to Education When Education Outcomes are Uncertain. In: Journal of Labor Economics 11(1, Part 1) , 48-83 . Abstract. Link.

  2. Arrow, Kenneth (1973). Higher Education as a Filter. In: Journal of Public Economics 2(3) , 193-216 . Abstract. Link.

  3. Ashenfelter, Orley and Cecilia E. Rouse (1998). Income, Schooling and Ability: Evidence from a New Sample of Identical Twins. In: Quarterly Journal of Economics 113(1) , 253-284 . Abstract. Link.

  4. Becker, Gary S. (1993). Human Capital. Chicago: University of Chicago Press . Abstract. Link.

  5. Card, David and Alan B. Krueger (1992). Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Public Schools in the United States. In: Journal of Political Economy 100(1) , 01-40 . Abstract. Link.

  6. Chetty, Raj, John N. Friedman, Nathaniel Hilger, Emmanuel Saez, Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach and Danny Yagan (2011). How Does Your Kindergarten Classroom Affect Your Earnings? Evidence from Project Star. In: Quarterly Journal of Economics 126(4) , 1593-1660 . Abstract. Link.

  7. Dale, Stacy B. and Alan B. Krueger (2002). Estimating the Payoff To Attending a More Selective College: An Application of Selection on Ob-servables and Unobservables. In: Quarterly Journal of Economics 117(4) , 1491-1527 . Abstract. Link.

  8. Duflo, Esther (2001). Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of School Construction in Indonesia: Evidence from an Unusual Policy Experiment. In: American Economic Review 91(4) , 795-813 . Abstract. Link.

  9. Dynarski, Susan M. (2003). Does Aid Matter? Measuring the Effect of Student Aid on College Attendance and Completion. In: American Economic Review 93(1) , 279-288 . Link.

  10. Griliches, Zvi (1977). Estimating the Returns to Schooling: Some Econometric Problems. In: Econometrica 45(1) , 01-22 . Abstract. Link.

  11. Hanushek, Eric A, Guido Schwerdt, Simon Wiederhold, and Ludger Woessmann (2015). Returns to skills around the world: Evidence from PIAAC. In: European Economic Review 73 , 103-130 . Abstract. Link.

  12. Layard, Richard and George Psacharopoulos (1974). The Screening Hypothesis and the Returns to Education. In: Journal of Political Economy 82(5) , 985-998 . Abstract. Link.

  13. Mincer, Jacob (1974). Schooling, Experience and Earnings. New York: National Bureau of Economic Research . Link.

  14. Mincer, Jacob (1958). Investment in Human Capital and Personal Income Distribution. In: Journal of Political Economy 66(4) , 281-302 . Link.

  15. Oreopoulos, Philip (2006). Estimating Average and Local Average Treatment Effects When Compulsory Schooling Laws Really Matter. In: American Economic Review 96(1) , 152-175 . Abstract. Link.

  16. Psacharopoulos, George and Richard Layard (1979). Human Capital and Earnings: British Evidence and a Critique. In: Review of Economic Studies 46(3) , 485-503 . Link.

  17. Spence, Michael (1973). Job Market Signaling. In: Quarterly Journal of Economics 87(3) , 355-374 . Link.

  18. Willis, Robert J. (1986). Wage Determinants: A Survey and Reinterpretation of Human Capital Earnings Functions. In: O. Ashenfelter and Layard (eds.). Handbook of Labour Economics. Amsterdam: North Holland . Link.

  19. Willis, Robert J. and Sherwin Rosen (1979). Education and Self-Selection. In: Journal of Political Economy 87(5, Part 2) , S7-S36 . Abstract. Link.

Further reading

  1. Altonji, Joseph G. and Thomas A. Dunn (1996). The Effects of Family Characteristics on the Return to Education. In: Review of Economics and Statistics 78(4) , 692-704 . Abstract. Link.

  2. Angrist, Joshua D. and Alan B. Krueger (1991). Does Compulsory Schooling Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?. In: Quarterly Journal of Economics 106(4) , 979-1014 . Abstract. Link.

  3. Ashenfelter, Orley and Alan B. Krueger (1994). Estimates of the Economic Return to Schooling from a New Sample of Twins. In: American Economic Review 84(5) , 1157-1173 . Abstract. Link.

  4. Ashenfelter, Orley, Colm Harmon and Hessel Oosterbeek (1999). A Review of Estimates of the Schooling/Earnings Relationship, With Tests for Publication Bias. In: Labour Economics 6(4) , 453-470 . Abstract. Link.

  5. Asplund, Rita (ed.) (2001). Education and Earnings: Further Evidence from Europe. Helsinki: ETLA, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy . Abstract. Link.

  6. Asplund, Rita and Pedro Telhado Pereira (eds.) (1999). Returns to Human Capital in Europe: A Literature Review. Helsinki: ETLA, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy . Link.

  7. Becker, Gary S. and Barry R. Chiswick (1966). Education and the Distribution of Earnings. In: American Economic Review 56(1/2) , 358-369 . Link.

  8. Bedard, Kelly (2001). Human Capital versus Signaling Models: University Access and High School Dropouts. In: Journal of Political Economy 109(4) , 749-775 . Abstract. Link.

  9. Beegle, Kathleen, Rajeev Dehejia and Roberta Gatti (2009). Why Should We Care About Child Labor? The Education, Labor Market, and Health Consequences of Child Labor. In: Journal of Human Resources 44(4) , 871-889 . Abstract. Link.

  10. Behrman, Jere and Mark R. Rosenzweig (1999). Ability Biases in Schooling Returns and Twins: a Test and New Estimates. In: Economics of Education Review 18(2) , 159-167 . Abstract. Link.

  11. Belfield, Clive R. (2000). Economic Principles for Education: Theory and Evidence. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar . Abstract. Link.

  12. Betts, Julian R. (1995). Does School Quality Matter? Evidence from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. In: Review of Economics and Statistics 77(2) , 231-250 . Abstract. Link.

  13. Björklund, Anders and Christian Kjellstrom (2002). Estimating the Return to Investments in Education: How Useful is the Mincer Equation?. In: Economics of Education Review 21(3) , 195-210 . Abstract. Link.

  14. Björklund, Anders, Per-Anders Edin, Peter Freriksson and Alan Krueger (2004). Education, Equality and Efficiency: An Analysis of Swedish School Reforms during the 1990s. IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation, Report 2004:1. Abstract. Link.

  15. Black, Dan A. and Jeffrey A. Smith (2005). Estimating the Returns to College Quality with Multiple Proxies for Quality. In: Journal of Labor Economics 24(3) , 701-728 . Abstract. Link.

  16. Blaug, Mark (1976). The Empirical Status of Human Capital Theory: A Slightly Jaundiced Survey. In: Journal of Economic Literature 14(3) , 827-856 . Link.

  17. Blundell, Richard, Lorraine Dearden, Costas Meghir and Barbara Sianesi (2005). Evaluating the Effect of Education on Earnings: Models, Methods and Results from the National Child Development Survey. In: Journal of Royal Statistical Society Series A 168(3) , 473-512 . Abstract. Link.

  18. Brewer, Dominic J., Eric Eide and Ronald G. Ehrenberg (1999). Does It Pay To Attend an Elite Private College? Cross-Cohort Evidence on the Effects of College Type on Earnings. In: Journal of Human Resources 34(1) , 104-123 . Abstract. Link.

  19. Brown, Sarah and John G. Sessions (2006). Evidence on the relationship between firm-based screening and the returns to education. In: Economics of Education Review 25(5) , 498-509 . Abstract. Link.

  20. Brunello, Giorgio and Kenn Ariga (2006). Are Education and Training always Complements? Evidence from Thailand. In: Industrial and Labor Relations Review 59(4) , 613-629 . Abstract. Link.

  21. Brunello, Giorgio and Simona Comi (2004). Education and Earnings Growth: Evidence from 11 European Countries. In: Economics of Education Review 23(1) , 75-84 . Abstract. Link.

  22. Burtless, Gary (ed.) (1996). Does Money Matter? The Effect of School Resources on Student Achievement and Adult Success. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press . Abstract. Link.

  23. Cameron, Stephen V. and Christopher Taber (2004). Estimation of Educational Borrowing Constraints Using Returns to Schooling. In: Journal of Political Economy 112(1) , 132-182 . Abstract. Link.

  24. Card, David (2001). Estimating the Return to Schooling: Progress on Some Persistent Econometric Problems. In: Econometrica 65(9) , 1127-1160 . Abstract. Link.

  25. Card, David (1999). The Causal Effect of Education on Earnings. In: O. Ashenfelter and D. Card (eds.). Handbook of Labor Economics Volume 3A. Amsterdam: Elsevier , 1801-1863 . Abstract. Link.

  26. Card, David (1998). The Causal Effect of Education on Earnings. In: Orley Ashenfelter and David Card (eds.). Handbook of Labor Economics III. Amsterdam: North Holland , 1801-1863 . Abstract. Link.

  27. Card, David and Thomas Lemieux (2001). Can Falling Supply Explain the Rising Return to College for Younger Men? A Cohort-Based Analysis. In: Quarterly Journal of Economics 116(2) , 705-746 . Abstract. Link.

  28. Carneiro, Pedro and James J. Heckman (2003). Human Capital Policy. In: James J. Heckman and Alan B. Krueger. Inequality in America: What Role for Human Capital Policies?. Cambridge: MA: MIT Press , (also available as NBER Working Paper 9495) . Abstract. Link.

  29. Chevalier, Arnaud, Colm Harmon, Ian Walker and Yu Zhu (2004). Does Education Raise Productivity, or Just Reflect it?. In: Economic Journal 114(499) , 499-517 . Abstract. Link.

  30. Chiswick, Barry R. (1998). Interpreting the Coefficient of Schooling in the Human Capital Earnings Function. In: Journal of Educational Planning and Administration 12(2) , 123–130. Also available as: World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 1790, Washington, D.C. 1997 . Abstract. Link.

  31. Cohn, Elchanan and Terry G. Geske (1990). The Economics of Education. London: Pergamon Press . Abstract.

  32. Crivellaro, Elena (2016). The College Wage Premium over Time: Trends in Europe in the Last 15 Years. In: Lorenzo Cappellari, Solomon W. Polachek, Konstantinos Tatsiramos (ed.). Inequality: Causes and Consequences (Reserach in Labor Economics, Volume 43). Emerald Group Publishing Limited , 287-328 . Abstract. Link.

  33. Dale, Stacy B. and Alan B. Krueger (2014). Estimating the Effects of College Characteristics over the Career Using Administrative Earnings Data. In: Journal of Human Resources 49(2) , 323-358 . Abstract. Link.

  34. Dee, Thomas S. (2004). Are there Civic Returns to Education?. In: Jounal of Public Economics 88(1) , 1697-1720 . Abstract. Link.

  35. Dickson, Matt (2012). The Causal Effect of Education on Wages Revisited. In: Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics 75(4) , 477–636 . Abstract. Link.

  36. Dougherty, Christopher R. S. and Emmanuel Jimenez (1991). The Specification of Earnings Functions: Tests and Implications. In: Economics of Education Review 10(2) , 85-98 . Abstract. Link.

  37. Frazis, Harley and Mark A. Loewenstein (2005). Reexamining the Returns to Training: Functional Form, Magnitude, and Interpretation. In: Journal of Human Resources 40(2) , 453-476 . Abstract. Link.

  38. Garen, John (1984). The Returns to Schooling: A Selectivity Bias Approach with a Continuous Choice Variable . In: Econometrica 52(5) , 1199-1218 . Abstract. Link.

  39. Gill, Andrew M. and Duanne E. Leigh (2003). Do the Returns to Community College Differ Between Academic and Vocational Programs?. In: Journal of Human Resources 38(1) , 134-155 . Abstract. Link.

  40. Griliches, Zvi (1970). Notes on the Role of Education in Production Functions and Growth Accounting. In: W. Lee Hansen (ed.). Education, Income and Human Capital. New York: Columbia University Press , 71-115 . Abstract. Link.

  41. Griliches, Zvi and William M. Mason (1972). Education, Income and Ability. In: Journal of Political Economy 80(3) , 74-103 . Abstract. Link.

  42. Grossmann, Michael (2006). Education and Nonmarket Outcomes. In: Eric A. Hanushek and Finis Welch. Handbook of the Economics of Education. Amsterdam: North-Holland , 577-633 . Abstract. Link.

  43. Hanoch, Giora (1967). An Economic Analysis of Earnings and Schooling . In: Journal of Human Resources 2(3) , 310-329 . Abstract. Link.

  44. Hanushek, Eric A. and Ludger Woessmann (2011). The Economics of International Differences in Educational Achievement. In: Eric A. Hanushek, Stephen Machin and Ludger Woessmann (ed.). Handbook of the Economics of Education, Volume 3. Amsterdam: North Holland , 89-200 . Abstract. Link.

  45. Hanushek, Eric A., Guido Schwerdt, Simon Wiederhold and Ludger Woessmann (2017). Coping with change: International differences in the returns to skills. In: Economic Letters 153 , 15-19 . Abstract. Link.

  46. Harmon, Colm and Ian Walker (1995). Estimates of the Economic Return to Schooling for the United Kingdom. In: American Economic Review 85(5) , 1278-1286 . Link.

  47. Harmon, Colm, Hessel Oosterbeek and Ian Walker (2003). The Returns to Education: Microeconomics. In: Journal of Economic Surveys 17(2) , 115-156 . Abstract. Link.

  48. Harmon, Colm, Ian Walker and Niels Westergaard-Nielsen (eds.) (2001). Education and Earnings in Europe: A Cross Country Analysis of the Returns to Education. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar . Abstract. Link.

  49. Hartog, Joop, Hans van Ophem and Simona Maria Bajdechi (2004). How Risky is Investment in Human Capital?. CESifo Working Paper 1261. Abstract. Link.

  50. Heckman, James J. and Xuesong Li (2004). Selection Bias, Comparative Advantage and Heterogeneous Returns to Education: Evidence from China in 2000. In: Pacific Economic Review 9(3) , 155-171 . Abstract. Link.

  51. Heckman, James J., Lance J. Lochner and Petra E. Todd (2006). Earnings Functions and Rates of Return: The Mincer Equation and beyond. In: Eric A. Hanushek and Finis Welch (eds.). Handbook of the Economics of Education. Amsterdam: North-Holland , 307-458 . Abstract. Link.

  52. Heckman, James and Pedro Carneiro (2003). Human Capital Policy. In: James Heckman and Alan Krueger (eds.). Inequality in America: What Role for Human Capital Policies?. Cambridge: MA: MIT Press , 985-998 . Abstract. Link.

  53. Heinrich, Georges and Vincent Hildebrand (2005). Returns to Education in the European Union: A reassessment from comparative data. In: European Journal of Education 40(1) , 13-34 . Link.

  54. Hoogerheide, Lennart and Herman K. van Dijk (2006). A Reconsideration of the Angrist-Krueger Analysis on Returns to Education. Econometric Institute report EI 2006-15. Abstract. Link.

  55. Ichino, Andrea and Rudolf Winter-Ebmer (2004). The Long-Run Educational Cost of World War II. In: Journal of Labor Economics 22(1) , 57-86 . Abstract. Link.

  56. Jaeger, David A. and Marianne E. Page (1996). Degrees Matter: New Evidence on Sheepskin Effects in the Returns to Education . In: Review of Economics and Statistics 78(4) , 733-740 . Abstract. Link.

  57. Jensen, Robert (2010). The (Perceived) Returns to Education and the Demand for Schooling. In: Quarterly Journal of Economics 125 (2) , 515-548 . Abstract. Link.

  58. John, Bound and Sarah E. Turner (2002). Going to War and Going to College: Did World War II and the G.I. Bill Increase Educational Attainment for Returning Veterans?. In: Journal of Labor Economics 20(4) , 784-815 . Abstract. Link.

  59. Kane, Thomas J. (1994). College Entry by Blacks since 1970: The Role of College Costs, Family Background, and the Returns to Education. In: Journal of Political Economy 102(5) , 878-911 . Abstract. Link.

  60. Kaplan, Steven N. and Joshua Rauh (2013). It's the Market: The Broad-Based Rise in the Return to Top Talent. In: Journal of Economic Perspectives 27(3) , 35-56 . Abstract. Link.

  61. Kenny, Lawrence W., Lung-Fei Lee, G. S. Maddala and R. P. Trost (1979). Returns to College Education: An Investigation of Self-Selection Bias Based on the Project Talent Data . In: International Economic Review 20(3) , 775-789 . Link.

  62. Lang, Kevin and David Kropp (1986). Human Capital Versus Sorting: The Effects of Compulsory Attendance Laws . In: Quarterly Journal of Economics 101(3) , 609-624 . Abstract. Link.

  63. Lavy, Victor (2015). Teachers’ Pay for Performance in the Long-Run: Effects on Students’ Educational and Labor Market Outcomes in Adulthood. NBER Working Paper 20983. Abstract. Link.

  64. Manski, Charles F. and John V. Pepper (2000). Monotone Instrumental Variables: With an Application to the Returns to Schooling. In: Econometrica 68(4) , 997-1010 . Link.

  65. Maurin, Eric and Sandra McNally (2008). Vive la Révolution! Long‐Term Educational Returns of 1968 to the Angry Students. In: Journal Of Labor Economics 26(1) , 1-33 . Abstract. Link.

  66. Maurin, Eric and Theodora Xenogiani (2007). Demand for Education and Labor Market Outcomes: Lessons from the Abolition of Compulsory Conscription in France. In: Journal of Human Resources 42(4) , 795-819 . Abstract. Link.

  67. Mcintosh, Steven (2006). Further Analysis of the Returns to Academic and Vocational Qualifications. In: Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics 68(2) , 225-251 . Abstract. Link.

  68. Michael, Robert T. (1973). Education in Nonmarket Production. In: Journal of Political Economy 81(2, Part1) , 306-327 . Abstract. Link.

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