Working Paper Series
IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy
Mind the gap? Estimating the effects of postponing higher education
(), Qian Liu
() and Oskar Nordström Skans
Abstract: This paper estimates the effects on earnings of “gap
years” between high school and university enrollment. The effect is
estimated by means of standard earnings functions augmented to account for
gap years and a rich set of control variables using administrative Swedish
data. We find that postponement of higher education is associated with a
persistent and non-trivial earnings penalty. The main source of the
persistent penalty appears to be the loss of work experience after studies.
Two years postponement reduces the present value of life time earnings by
40-50 percent of annual earnings at age 40.
Keywords: timing of education; schooling interruptions; work experience; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: I23; J24; J31; (follow links to similar papers)
45 pages, October 11, 2006
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- This paper is published as:
Holmlund, Bertil, Qian Liu and Oskar Nordström Skans, (2008), 'Mind the gap? Estimating the effects of postponing higher education', Oxford Economic Papers
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