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Factor Endowments and the Returns to Skill: New Evidence from the American Past

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  • Joseph P. Kaboski
  • Trevon D. Logan

Abstract

Existing skill-biased technical change theory predicts that differences in factor endowments will affect technology adoption and the return to skill. We document regional variation in endowments in the American past. We then estimate the returns to education using a new data source: a report from the Commissioner of Education in 1909. We find significant variation in the returns to schooling aligned with differences in resource endowments, with large (within-occupation) returns in the Midwest and Southwest but much lower returns in the South and West. Our results appear generalizable to broader returns to education in the United States.

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File URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/10.1086/660297
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File URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/660297
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Human Capital.

Volume (Year): 5 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 111 - 152

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jhucap:doi:10.1086/660297

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Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JHC/

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  1. David Autor & Frank Levy & Richard Murnane, 2003. "The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
  2. Paul Beaudry & Mark Doms & Ethan Lewis, 2006. "Endogenous Skill Bias in Technology Adoption: City-Level Evidence from the IT Revolution," NBER Working Papers 12521, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Hoyt Bleakley, 2007. "Disease and Development: Evidence from Hookworm Eradication in the American South," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(1), pages 73-117, 02.
  4. Abowd, John M. & Haltiwanger, John C. & Lane, Julia & McKinney, Kevin L. & Sandusky, L. Kristin, 2007. "Technology and the Demand for Skill: An Analysis of Within and Between Firm Differences," IZA Discussion Papers 2707, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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Cited by:
  1. Parag A. Pathak & Peng Shi, 2014. "Demand Modeling, Forecasting, and Counterfactuals, Part I," NBER Working Papers 19859, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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