Beyond the mincer equation: the internal rate of return to higher education in Colombia
In order to present an estimation of the Internal Rate of Return (IRR) to higher education in Colombia we take advantage of the methodological approach provided by Heckman, Lochner and Todd (2005). Trying to overcome the criticism that surrounds interpretations of the education coefficient of Mincer equations as being the rate of return to investments in education we develop a more structured approach of estimation, which controls for selection bias, includes more accurate measures of labor income and the role of education costs and income taxes. Our results implied a lower rate of return than the ones found in the Colombian literature and show that the Internal Rate of Return for higher education in Colombia lies somewhere between 0.074 and 0.128. The results vary according to the year analyzed and individual’s gender. This last result reinforces considerations regarding gender discrimination in the Colombian labor market.