The return to education in the mid-20th century: evidence from twins
Ren Tan, Hui
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Citation (published version)James Feigenbaum, Hui Ren Tan. 2019. "The Return to Education in the Mid-20th Century: Evidence from Twins."
What was the return to education in the US at mid-century? In 1940, the correlation between years of schooling and earnings was relatively low. In this paper, we estimate the causal return to schooling in 1940, constructing a large linked sample of twin brothers to account for differences in unobserved ability and family background. We find that each additional year of schooling increased labor earnings by approximately 4%, about half the return found for more recent cohorts in contemporary twins studies. These returns were evident both within and across occupations and were higher for sons from lower SES families.