This paper attempts to reconcile a contradiction in the economics of education research. On the one hand, research suggests that Americans, particularly Mexican Americans, are overeducated, and consequently earn lower returns to education than adequately' educated peers. On the other hand, Mexican Americans have been well documented to receive lower education levels than non-Hispanic whites. To explain this research inconsistency, the earnings function used by Verdugo and Verdugo (1988) is examined to discover if the purported overeducation earnings penalty results from an empirical model misspecification. In addition, the relationship between education quality and earnings is examined for Mexican Americans, blacks, and non- Hispanic whites. Finally, Sicherman's (1991) hypothesis of an inverse relationship between education quality and overeducation is tested to shed light on the incidence of overeducation. Education quality is proxied by state pupil\xad per-teacher ratios and expenditures-per-student ratios. All empirical tests are conducted using a 5 percent sample from the 1980 census 'A' of the Public-Use Microdata.'
SW Hispanic Research Institute; Center for Regional Studies
SW Hispanic Research Institute
Mora, Marie T.. "Does Overeducation Imply Poor Schooling Quality For Mexican American Men?." (1992). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/shri_publications/41