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Journal Article

Education and Self-Selection

Robert J. Willis and Sherwin Rosen
Journal of Political Economy
Vol. 87, No. 5, Part 2: Education and Income Distribution (Oct., 1979), pp. S7-S36
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1829907
Page Count: 30
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Education and Self-Selection
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Abstract

A structural model of the demand for college attendance is derived from the theory of comparative advantage and recent statistical models of self-selection and unobserved components. Estimates from NBEr-Thorndike data strongly support the theory. First, expected lifetime earnings gains influence the decision to attend college. Second, those who did not attend college would have earned less than measurably similar people who did attend, while those who attended college would have earned less as high school graduates than measurably similar people who stopped after high school. Positive selection in both groups implies no "ability bias" in these data.

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