Quantile regression with sample selection: Estimating women’s return to education in the U.S.

  • Moshe Buchinsky
Part of the Studies in Empirical Economics book series (STUDEMP)


This study uses quantile regression techniques to analyze changes in the returns to education for women. The data used is the March Current Population Survey for the years 1968, 1973, 1979, 1986 and 1990. The first step in estimating the single (linear) index selection equation uses Ichimura’s (1993) semiparametric procedure. To correct for an unknown form of a sample selection bias in the quantile regression, the second step incorporates a nonparametric method, using an idea similar to one developed by Heckman (1980) and Newey (1991) for mean regression, and Buchinsky (1998) for quantile regression.

The results show that: (a) the returns to education increased enormously for the younger cohorts, but very little for the older cohorts; (b) in general the returns are higher at the lower quantiles in the beginning of the sample period and higher at the higher quantiles by the end of the sample period; (c) there is a significant sample selection bias for all age groups at almost all quantiles; (d) toward the end of the sample period there is a significant convergence of the returns at the various quantiles, especially for the younger cohorts and age groups; and (e) the semiparametric estimates of the selection equation are considerably different from those obtained for a parametric probit model.

Key words

Quantile Regression Nonparametric Selection Correction Return to Education. 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Moshe Buchinsky
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsBrown University, National Bureau of Economic Research and CREST-INSEEProvidenceUSA

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