December 2014

IZA DP No. 8736: Additive Kernel Estimates of Returns to Schooling

published in: Empirical Economics, 2015, 48, 227-251

In this paper, we employ a partially linear nonparametric additive regression estimator, with recent U.S. Current Population Survey data, to analyze returns to schooling. Similar to previous research, we find that blacks and Hispanics have higher rates of return on average. However, for married males, while non-Hispanic whites have lower returns on average, they typically possess the highest returns in the sample. For females, we are able to show that Hispanics have uniformly higher returns over non-Hispanic whites for the full sample. When we restrict our analysis to females whose highest level of education is a high-school diploma, we find average, but no longer uniformly higher returns. However, these uniformly higher returns resurface for college graduates.