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Journal Article

THE (PERCEIVED) RETURNS TO EDUCATION AND THE DEMAND FOR SCHOOLING

Robert Jensen
The Quarterly Journal of Economics
Vol. 125, No. 2 (May 2010), pp. 515-548
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27867489
Page Count: 34
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THE (PERCEIVED) RETURNS TO EDUCATION AND THE DEMAND FOR SCHOOLING
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Abstract

Economists emphasize the link between market returns to education and investments in schooling. Though many studies estimate these returns with earnings data, it is the perceived returns that affect schooling decisions, and these perceptions may be inaccurate. Using survey data for eighth-grade boys in the Dominican Republic, we find that the perceived returns to secondary school are extremely low, despite high measured returns. Students at randomly selected schools given information on the higher measured returns completed on average 0.20–0.35 more years of school over the next four years than those who were not.

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