College of Education
The Pennsylvania State University
State College, PA 16801
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|February 2016||MisMatch in Human Capital Accumulation|
with Russell Cooper: w22010
This paper studies the allocation of heterogeneous agents to levels of educational attainment. The goal is to understand the magnitudes and sources of mismatch in this assignment, both in theory and in the data. The paper presents evidence of substantial mismatch between ability and educational attainment across 21 OECD countries, with a focus on Germany, Italy, Japan and the US. In the model, mismatch originates from: (i) taste shocks, (ii) binding borrowing constraints and (iii) noisy measures of ability in test scores. The model is estimated using a simulated method of moments approach. The main finding is that measured mismatch arises largely from noise in test scores and does not reflect borrowing constraints. Differences in tastes for education across households play a minor role i...