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wages, education, urban, college degrees


This paper attempts to investigate the individual wage rate of return to college education. Over the last twenty years, the return to college education has increased dramatically. We propose to investigate how the return to college differs across educational and residential characteristics. We first consider differential returns to an associate, bachelor, advanced, and professional degrees and what characteristics of an individual's college education influence the rate of return to different degrees. Secondly, we focus on the variation in the return to college education in different areas of residence by comparing the return to education across regions and metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. These issues will be explored using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth data set. In our preliminary analysis, we explored the differential impact of educational characteristics on wages across regions of residence, on the location where the college was attended, and on wages metropolitan versus nonmetropolitan workers. Our initial findings suggest that returns to education do vary with college location and area worked, and are greater for metro workers.


Department of Economics, South Dakota State University

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