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Essays on skills and education

Abstract : The three chapters of this thesis study different aspects of skills and human capital across different contexts.The first chapter investigates the question: what drives some young people to choose to attend university while others do not? This chapter focuses on non-pecuniary factors: using detailed survey data from UK cohort studies I compare the expectations of young people who both attend and do not attend university about many different aspects of life at, and after, university. Non-pecuniary, and particularly non-financial, factors are shown to be much more important than wages in determining the higher education choices of young people.The second chapter moves the focus of the analysis from expected returns from before attending university, to realised returns after university - from ex ante to ex post. Using the same cohort studies as in chapter 1, I study the wage returns to a university degree in the UK as a function of ability on entry to university. I develop a methodology that allows the estimation of both cognitive and non-cognitive prior abilities. I use these estimates to study how the returns to university vary across groups of individuals with different prior ability levels, allowing for interactions between the different components of ability. In chapter 3 the focus switches from higher education to formal training. Using a novel methodology in the spirit of diff-in-diff, we exploit novel French data on training to estimate the wage returns to formal training. We find small estimates in the range of 1-3%, suggesting the larger estimates found in earlier studies may have failed to fully account for unobserved heterogeneity.
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Submitted on : Thursday, November 17, 2022 - 12:02:21 PM
Last modification on : Friday, November 18, 2022 - 10:06:13 AM


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  • HAL Id : tel-03857494, version 1



Oliver Cassagneau-Francis. Essays on skills and education. Economics and Finance. Institut d'études politiques de paris - Sciences Po, 2022. English. ⟨NNT : 2022IEPP0009⟩. ⟨tel-03857494⟩



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