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The Kuznets Curve of Education: A Global Perspective on Education Inequalities

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  • Christian Morrisson
  • Fabrice Murtin

Abstract

This paper describes global trends in average educational attainment and in education inequality since 1870, improving the database released by Morrisson-Murtin (2009). Inequality in years of schooling is found to be rapidly decreasing, a direct consequence of the decline in illiteracy. Then, we turn to human capital inequality, and focus, among several other alternatives, on a Mincerian production function of human capital that accounts for diminishing returns to schooling. Within countries, we find evidence of an inverted U-shape curve for human capital inequality, namely a Kuznets curve of education. At the world level, human capital inequality has followed a similar pattern, first increasing from 1870 to 1970, then decreasing.

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File URL: http://cee.lse.ac.uk/ceedps/ceedp116.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE in its series CEE Discussion Papers with number 0116.

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Date of creation: Jun 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cep:ceedps:0116

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

Related research

Keywords: Inequality; human capital; economic history; Kuznets curve.;

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References

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  1. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1990. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Stephen Machin & John Van Reenen, 1998. "Technology and changes in skill structure: evidence from seven OECD countries," IFS Working Papers W98/04, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  3. Fabrice Murtin & Martina Viarengo, 2010. "American education in the age of mass migrations 1870–1930," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 4(2), pages 113-139, June.
  4. Christian Morrisson & Fabrice Murtin, 2009. "The century of education," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28281, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Fabrice Murtin & Romain Wacziarg, 2011. "The Democratic Transition," NBER Working Papers 17432, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. James J. Heckman & Lance J. Lochner & Petra E. Todd, 2005. "Earnings Functions, Rates of Return and Treatment Effects: The Mincer Equation and Beyond," NBER Working Papers 11544, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2004. "From Physical to Human Capital Accumulation: Inequality and the Process of Development," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(4), pages 1001-1026, October.
  8. Bourguignon, F. & Verdier, T., 1997. "Oligarchy, Democracy, Inequality and Growth," DELTA Working Papers 97-10, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  9. Esther Duflo, 2001. "Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of School Construction in Indonesia: Evidence from an Unusual Policy Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 795-813, September.
  10. Berman, E. & Bound, J. & Machin, S., 1997. "Implications of Skill-Biased Technological Change: International Evidence," Papers 25, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
  11. David de la Croix & Matthias Doepke, 2003. "Inequality and Growth: Why Differential Fertility Matters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1091-1113, September.
  12. Fabrice Murtin & Martina Viarengo, 2008. "The Convergence of Compulsory Schooling in Western Europe: 1950-2000," CEE Discussion Papers 0095, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  13. Jean-Claude Berthélemy, 2006. "To What Extent are African Education Policies Pro-poor?," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 15(3), pages 434-469, September.
  14. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Esther Duflo, 2007. "The Economic Lives of the Poor," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 141-168, Winter.
  15. Psacharopoulos, George & Patrinos, Harry Anthony, 2002. "Returns to investment in education : a further update," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2881, The World Bank.
  16. Thomas, Vinod & Wang, Yan & Fan, Xibo, 2001. "Measuring education inequality - Gini coefficients of education," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2525, The World Bank.
  17. Amparo Castello & Rafael Domenech, 2002. "Human Capital Inequality and Economic Growth: Some New Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(478), pages C187-C200, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Murtin, Fabrice & Wacziarg, Romain, 2011. "The Democratic Transition," CEPR Discussion Papers 8599, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Åsa Johansson & Yvan Guillemette & Fabrice Murtin & David Turner & Giuseppe Nicoletti & Christine de la Maisonneuve & Guillaume Bousquet & Francesca Spinelli, 2012. "Looking to 2060: Long-Term Global Growth Prospects: A Going for Growth Report," OECD Economic Policy Papers 3, OECD Publishing.
  3. Romain Bouis & Romain Duval & Fabrice Murtin, 2011. "The Policy and Institutional Drivers of Economic Growth Across OECD and Non-OECD Economies: New Evidence from Growth Regressions," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 843, OECD Publishing.
  4. Åsa Johansson & Yvan Guillemette & Fabrice Murtin & David Turner & Giuseppe Nicoletti & Christine de la Maisonneuve & Philip Bagnoli & Guillaume Bousquet & Francesca Spinelli, 2013. "Long-Term Growth Scenarios," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1000, OECD Publishing.
  5. Maurice CATIN & Mohamed HAZEM, 2012. "Les Disparités De Taux D’Alphabétisation Selon Les Genres Dans Les Délégations Tunisiennes : Une Approche Par L’Économétrie Spatiale," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 35, pages 177-193.

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