Assessing policies to equalise opportunity using an equilibrium model of educational and occupational choices

Elsevier Science Sa
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal Of Public Economics, 2009, 93 (7-8), pp. 879 - 898
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The inter-generational correlation of education in the U.S. is tremendous. For instance, in PSID data from 1990, young males with college-educated parents had a 70% chance of attending college. But those with high school drop-out parents had only a 15% chance. In this paper, we analyze the impact of college attendance bonus schemes designed to increase college attendance rates (and PV of lifetime income) Of Youth from disadvantaged backgrounds. Of course, policies that increase the supply of skilled labor may reduce the college wage premium (see Heckman eta]. [Heckman,James, Lochner, Lance and Taber, Christopher, Explaining rising wage inequality: explorations with a dynamic equilibrium model of labor earnings with heterogeneous agents, Review of Economic Dynamics, 1 (1998a), 1-58; Heckman, James, Lochner, Lance and Taber, Christopher, General-equilibrium treatment effects: a study of tuition policy, American Economic Review, 88:2 (1998b), 381-386]). This may have the unintended consequence of wiping out most of the gains to the targeted groups.
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