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Are there civic returns to education?

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  • Dee, Thomas S.

Abstract

The hypothesized effects of educational attainment on adult civic engagement and attitudes provide some of the most important justifications for government intervention in the market for education. In this study, I present evidence on whether these externalities exist. I assess and implement two strategies for identifying the effects of educational attainment. One is based on the availability of junior and community colleges; the other, on changes in teen exposure to child labor laws. The results suggest that educational attainment has large and statistically significant effects on subsequent voter participation and support for free speech. I also find that additional schooling appears to increase the quality of civic knowledge as measured by the frequency of newspaper readership

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 88 (2004)
Issue (Month): 9-10 (August)
Pages: 1697-1720

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:88:y:2004:i:9-10:p:1697-1720

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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  11. Joshua Angrist & Alan Krueger, 1998. "Empirical Strategies in Labor Economics," Working papers 98-7, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  12. Lori L. Taylor, 1999. "Government's role in primary and secondary education," Economic and Financial Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Q I, pages 15-24.
  13. John R. Lott, Jr., 1999. "Public Schooling, Indoctrination, and Totalitarianism," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S127-S157, December.
  14. Barbara L. Wolfe & Robert H. Haveman, 2002. "Social and nonmarket benefits from education in an advanced economy," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 47(Jun), pages 97-142.
  15. Thomas J. Kane & Cecilia Elena Rouse, 1999. "The Community College: Educating Students at the Margin between College and Work," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(1), pages 63-84, Winter.
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  22. Dee, Thomas S., 2004. "Are there civic returns to education?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1697-1720, August.
  23. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
  24. Daron Acemoglu & Joshua Angrist, 2001. "How Large are Human-Capital Externalities? Evidence from Compulsory-Schooling Laws," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2000, Volume 15, pages 9-74 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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