November 2006

IZA DP No. 2462: Returns to Schooling in Kazakhstan: OLS and Instrumental Variables Approach

Reza Arabsheibani, Altay Mussurov

published in: Economics of Transition, 2007, 15 (2), 342-364

This paper examines rates of return to schooling in Kazakhstan using OLS and instrumental variable (IV) methodologies. We use spouse’s education and smoking as instruments. We find that spouse’s education is a valid instrument and that conventional OLS estimates that assume the exogenous nature of schooling, and hence do not control for endogeneity bias, may underestimate the true rates of return. The results indicate that the returns to schooling in Kazakhstan have increased with transition. This may reflect the relative scarcities of highly educated people in Kazakhstan with human capital that employers require and, following the market reforms, reward accordingly.