The Return on Investment for Higher Education in the United States

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Jonathan Dwight Oxley


As the United States economy continues its recovery from the financial crisis, investments of all types are treated with higher levels of optimism. A college education is no exception; however, it does bring up the question of what the rate of return the investment of a college education provides an individual This paper attempts to build off of Mincer’s (1975), Cohn’s and Hughes’s (1994), Psacharopoulos’s (1994) and Athanassiadis’s (2011) research by first modeling the overall return on investment for higher education for full-time workers through a Mincer earnings function, and then determining the return on investment on earnings for workers across various time periods through “the short-cut method.”

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OXLEY, Jonathan Dwight. The Return on Investment for Higher Education in the United States. Journal of Economics and Banking, [S.l.], n. 1, mar. 2017. ISSN 2376-2160. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 29 jan. 2023. doi:


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