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Author:Hendricks, Lutz 

Working Paper
Causes and Consequences of Student-College Mismatch

College admissions are highly meritocratic in the U.S. today. It is not the case in many other countries. What is the tradeoff? On one hand, meritocracy produces more human capital overall if higher ability students learn more in college and if they learn more in higher quality colleges. This leads to a higher overall level of earnings (i.e. greater efficiency, loosely speaking). On the other hand, more meritocracy generates a higher degree of earnings inequality. In this paper, we quantify this efficiency-equality tradeoff. Our results suggest small efficiency losses/gains from student ...
Working Papers , Paper 2022-026

Working Paper
Human Capital and Development Accounting: New Evidence from Wage Gains at Migration

We use new data on the pre- and post-migration wages of U.S. immigrants to measure the importance of human capital for development accounting. Wages increase at migration, but by less than half of the gap in GDP per worker. This finding implies that human capital accounts for a large share of cross-country income differences. Wage gains decline with education, consistent with imperfect substitution between skill types. We bound the human capital share in development accounting to between one-half and two-thirds; additional assumptions lead to an estimate of 60 percent. We also provide results ...
Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers , Paper 1

Working Paper
Causes and Consequences of Student-College Mismatch

What are the tradeoffs of meritocratic college admissions? On one hand, stronger sorting between students and colleges may produce more human capital on aggregate if higher ability students benefit more from attending higher quality colleges. On the other hand, stronger sorting generates a higher degree of earnings inequality and reduces upward mobility. In this paper, we examine student-college sorting and study aggregate implications of redistributive college admissions policies such as affirmative action. To this end, we develop a model with heterogeneous students and college types that ...
Working Papers , Paper 2022-026

Working Paper
College Access and Attendance Patterns: A Long-Run View

We harmonize the results of 42 different data sets and studies dating back to the early 20th century to construct a time series of college attendance patterns for the United States. We find an important reversal around the time of World War II: before that time, family characteristics such as income were the better predictor of college attendance; afterwards, academic ability was the better predictor. We construct a model of college choice that can explain this reversal. The model's central mechanism is an exogenous rise in the demand for college that leads better colleges to become ...
Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers , Paper 10


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