Is there a risk-return trade-off in educational choices? Evidence from Spain

Luis Díaz-Serrano*, Joop Hartog

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


We use data from Spain to test for an effect of earnings variance and skewness on individual wages. We carry out separate estimations for men and women. In accordance with the scant previous evidence mainly focused on the US, we report the existence of a risk-return trade-off across educational choices in the Spanish labor market. These results are in conformity with preferences of risk-averse individuals with decreasing absolute risk aversion and hence, with preference for skewness. In contrast with the previous literature, our analysis is based just in education cells, instead of on occupation or occupation/education cells. This improvement allows us to capture in a more suitable way the essence of earnings risk.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-380
Number of pages28
JournalInvestigaciones Economicas
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Compensating wage differentials
  • Educational choices
  • Risk-aversion
  • Skewness affection


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