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Vive la Revolution! Long term returns of 1968 to the angry students

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  • Eric Maurin
  • Sandra McNally

Abstract

The famous events of May 1968, starting with student riots, threw France into a state of turmoil. The period of ‘revolution’ coincided with the time in which important examinations are undertaken. Normal procedures were abandoned and the pass-rate for various qualifications increased enormously. These events were particularly important for students at an early (and highly selective) phase of higher education. They are shown to have pursued further years of education because thresholds were lowered at critical stages. These historic events provide a natural experiment to analyse the returns to years of higher education for the affected generation and to consider consequences for their children. Thus, we contribute to debate on two very controversial questions: What is the true causal relationship between educational attainment and its labour market value? Is there a causal relationship between the education of parents and that of their children? Unlike most of the literature, we consider the effect of an intervention which alters an individual’s years of higher education rather than compulsory schooling. The results show a relatively high return, which might indicate that private returns are higher for the former. Furthermore, the treatment group is on the margin of the higher education system. This study suggests that expanding the university system to accommodate such people can yield very high private returns. Hence our study suggests very positive effects of the ‘1968 events’ for affected cohorts and is of contemporary relevance given the current debate in many countries about widening access to higher education.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE in its series CEE Discussion Papers with number 0049.

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Date of creation: Jun 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cep:ceedps:0049

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Web page: http://cee.lse.ac.uk/publications.htm

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References

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  1. Card, David, 2001. "Estimating the Return to Schooling: Progress on Some Persistent Econometric Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(5), pages 1127-60, September.
  2. Arnaud Chevalier, 2004. "Parental Education and Child’s Education - A Natural Experiment," Working Papers 200414, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  3. Black, Sandra E. & Devereux, Paul J. & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2003. "Why the Apple Doesn't Fall Far: Understanding Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital," IZA Discussion Papers 926, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Jo Blanden & Alissa Goodman & Paul Gregg & Stephen Machin, 2002. "Changes in intergenerational mobility in Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19507, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Angrist, Joshua D & Krueger, Alan B, 1991. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(4), pages 979-1014, November.
  6. Lorraine Dearden, 1999. "Qualifications and earnings in Britain: how reliable are conventional OLS estimates of the returns to education?," IFS Working Papers W99/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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Cited by:
  1. Marc Piopiunik, 2011. "Microeconometric Analyses of Education Production in Germany," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 40, July.
  2. A Chevalier & C Harmon & V O'Sullivan & I Walker, 2010. "The Impact of Parental Income and Education on the Schooling of their Children," Working Papers 610852, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
  3. Enkelejda Havari & Marco Savegnago, 2014. "The causal effect of parents’ schooling on children’s schooling in Europe. A new IV approach," CEIS Research Paper 315, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 12 May 2014.
  4. Mussa, Richard, 2014. "Youth Wage Employment and Parental Education in Malawi," MPRA Paper 54629, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Holmlund, Helena & Lindahl, Mikael & Plug, Erik, 2008. "The Causal Effect of Parent's Schooling on Children's Schooling: A Comparison of Estimation Methods," IZA Discussion Papers 3630, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Monique de Haan, 2011. "The Effect of Parents’ Schooling on Child’s Schooling: A Nonparametric Bounds Analysis," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(4), pages 859 - 892.
  7. Holmlund, Helena & Lindahl, Mikael & Plug, Erik, 2010. "The Causal Eff ect of Parent’s Schooling on Children’s Schooling," Working Paper Series, Center for Labor Studies 2010:8, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  8. Arnaud Chevalier & Colm Harmon & Vincent O'Sullivan & Ian Walker, 2011. "The Impact of Parental Earnings and Education on the Schooling of Children," Working Papers 201112, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  9. Lundborg, Petter & Nordin, Martin & Rooth, Dan Olof, 2012. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital. The Role of Skills and Health," Working Papers 2012:22, Lund University, Department of Economics.
  10. Holmlund, Helena, 2007. "A Researcher's Guide to the Swedish Compulsory School Reform," Working Paper Series 9/2007, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
  11. Marc Piopiunik, 2011. "Intergenerational Transmission of Education and Mediating Channels: Evidence from Compulsory Schooling Reforms in Germany," Ifo Working Paper Series Ifo Working Paper No. 107, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.

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