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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. E Berman & J Bound & Stephen Machin, 1997. "Implications of Skill-Biased Technological Change: International Evidence," CEP Discussion Papers dp0367, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. DE LA CROIX, David & DOEPKE, Matthias, 2001. "Inequality and Growth : Why Differential Fertility Matters," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2001008, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  3. Fabrice Murtin & Martina Viarengo, 2008. "The Convergence of Compulsory Schooling in Western Europe: 1950-2000," CEE Discussion Papers, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE 0095, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  4. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 1999. "From Physical to Human Capital Accumulation: Inequality in the Process of Development," Working Papers 99-27, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  5. Murtin, Fabrice & Viarengo, Martina, 2009. "American Education in the Age of Mass Migrations 1870-1930," IZA Discussion Papers 3964, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Christian Morrisson & Fabrice Murtin, 2009. "The Century of Education," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 1-42.
  7. 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.
  8. Machin, S. & Van Reenen, J., 1997. "Technology and Changes in Skill Structure: Evidence from Seven OECD Countries," Papers, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics 24, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
  9. Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance J. & Todd, Petra E., 2006. "Earnings Functions, Rates of Return and Treatment Effects: The Mincer Equation and Beyond," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier, Elsevier.
  10. Fabrice Murtin & Romain Wacziarg, 2011. "The Democratic Transition," NBER Working Papers 17432, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Amparo Castello & Rafael Domenech, 2002. "Human Capital Inequality and Economic Growth: Some New Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(478), pages C187-C200, March.
  12. Thomas, Vinod & Wang, Yan & Fan, Xibo, 2001. "Measuring education inequality - Gini coefficients of education," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2525, The World Bank.
  13. 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.
  14. Bourguignon, Francois & Verdier, Thierry, 2000. "Oligarchy, democracy, inequality and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 285-313, August.
  15. Banerjee, Abhijit & Duflo, Esther, 2006. "The Economic Lives of the Poor," CEPR Discussion Papers 5968, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Psacharopoulos, George & Patrinos, Harry Anthony, 2002. "Returns to investment in education : a further update," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2881, The World Bank.
  17. 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), Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 15(3), pages 434-469, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Fabrice Murtin & Romain Wacziarg, 2011. "The Democratic Transition," NBER Working Papers 17432, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 35, pages 177-193.
  5. 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.

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