A review of estimates of the schooling/earnings relationship, with tests for publication bias

Published in: Labour Economics 6 (1999). 453-470. (with Orley Ashenfelter and Colm Harmon )

In this a paper we provide an analytical review of previous estimates of the rate of return on schooling investments and measure how these estimates vary by country, over time, and by estimation method. We find evidence of reporting or ‘‘file drawer’’ bias in the estimates and, after due account is taken of this bias, we find that differences due to estimation method are much smaller than is sometimes reported, although some are statistically significant. We also find that estimated returns are higher in the US and they have increased in the last two decades.

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