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Zero Returns to Compulsory Schooling in Germany: Evidence and Interpretation

Jorn-Steffen Pischke and Till von Wachter ()
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Till von Wachter: University of California, Los Angeles

No 1645, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: We estimate the impact of compulsory schooling on earnings using the changes in compulsory schooling laws for secondary schools in West German states during the period from 1948 to 1970. While our research design is very similar to studies for various other countries, we find very different estimates of the returns. Most estimates in the literature indicate returns in the range of 10 to 15 percent. We find no return to compulsory schooling in Germany in terms of higher wages. We investigate whether this is due to labor market institutions or the existence of the apprenticeship training system in Germany, but find no evidence for these explanations. We conjecture that the result might be due to the fact that the basic skills most relevant for the labor market are learned earlier in Germany than in other countries.

Keywords: school leaving age; returns to schooling; human capital; ability bias (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I21 J24 J31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2005-07
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Published in: Review of Economics and Statistics, 2008, 90 (2), 592-598

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Related works:
Journal Article: Zero Returns to Compulsory Schooling in Germany: Evidence and Interpretation (2008) Downloads
Working Paper: Zero returns to compulsory schooling in Germany: evidence and interpretation (2008) Downloads
Working Paper: Zero Returns to Compulsory Schooling in Germany: Evidence and Interpretation (2006) Downloads
Working Paper: Zero Returns to Compulsory Schooling in Germany: Evidence and Interpretation (2005) Downloads
Working Paper: Zero Returns to Compulsory Schooling In Germany: Evidence and Interpretation (2005) Downloads
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