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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. As a result, normal examination procedures were abandoned and the pass-rate for various qualifications increased enormously in that one year. 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 (i.e. at entry to university and in the early years of university). 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 can contribute to the debate on two very controversial questions in the economics of education: 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? Much of the existing literature considers the effect of interventions altering an individual’s years of compulsory schooling on the margin rather than an intervention which occurs at a later stage. Our results are based on the latter and show a higher return for an additional year of education than would be suggested by many of the former studies. This may reflect higher returns from an additional year of university education rather than an additional year of compulsory education. Furthermore, the treatment group considered here 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. There is also evidence of a strong causal relationship between obtaining an additional year of higher education and the educational outcomes of children. Hence our study suggests very

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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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  1. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2005. "Why the Apple Doesn't Fall Far: Understanding Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 437-449, March.
  2. Blanden, Jo & Alissa Goodman & Paul Gregg & Stephen Machin, 2002. "Changes in Intergenerational Mobility in Britain," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 31, Royal Economic Society.
  3. Harmon, Colm & Walker, Ian, 1995. "Estimates of the Economic Return to Schooling for the United Kingdom," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1278-86, December.
  4. David Card, 2000. "Estimating the Return to Schooling: Progress on Some Persistent Econometric Problems," NBER Working Papers 7769, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Chevalier, Arnaud, 2004. "Parental Education and Child's Education: A Natural Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 1153, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 1990. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," NBER Working Papers 3572, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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. Holmlund, Helena, 2007. "A Researcher's Guide to the Swedish Compulsory School Reform," Working Paper Series 9/2007, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Chevalier, Arnaud & Harmon, Colm P. & O'Sullivan, Vincent & Walker, Ian, 2005. "The Impact of Parental Income and Education on the Schooling of Their Children," IZA Discussion Papers 1496, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Mussa, Richard, 2014. "Youth Wage Employment and Parental Education in Malawi," MPRA Paper 54629, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. 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.
  7. Helena Holmlund & Mikael Lindahl & Erik Plug, 2011. "The Causal Effect of Parents' Schooling on Children's Schooling: A Comparison of Estimation Methods," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(3), pages 615-51, September.
  8. Monique de Haan, 2008. "The Effect of Parents' Schooling on Child's Schooling: A Nonparametric Bounds Analysis," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 08-061/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  9. 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.
  10. 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, 8.
  11. 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.

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