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Why Does Educational Attainment Differ Across U.S. States?

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  • Lutz Hendricks

Abstract

The fraction of persons holding a college degree differs nearly two-fold across U.S. states. This paper documents data related to state educational attainment differences and explores possible explanations. It shows that highly educated states employ skillbiased technologies, specialize in skill-intensive industries, but do not pay lower skill premia than do less educated states. Moreover, measures of urbanization and population density are positively related to educational attainment. Theories based on agglomeration economies offer natural explanations for these observations.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2004/wp-cesifo-2004-11/cesifo1_wp1335.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1335.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1335

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Keywords: education; agglomeration;

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References

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  1. Giles Duranton & Diego Puga, 2003. "Micro-Foundations of Urban Agglomeration Economies," NBER Working Papers 9931, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Helsley, Robert W. & Strange, William C., 1990. "Matching and agglomeration economies in a system of cities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 189-212, September.
  3. Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Strange, William C., 2004. "Evidence on the nature and sources of agglomeration economies," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 49, pages 2119-2171 Elsevier.
  4. Bernard, Andrew & Redding, Stephen J & Schott, Peter, 2005. "Factor Price Equality and the Economies of the United States," CEPR Discussion Papers 5111, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Per Krusell & Lee E. Ohanian & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull & Giovanni L. Violante, 1997. "Capital-skill complementarity and inequality: a macroeconomic analysis," Staff Report 239, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  6. Daron Acemoglu, 2003. "Patterns of Skill Premia," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(2), pages 199-230, 04.
  7. Goldin, Claudia, 1999. "Egalitarianism and the Returns to Education during the Great Transformation of American Education," Scholarly Articles 2623652, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Daron Acemoglu, 2001. "Directed Technical Change," NBER Working Papers 8287, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Edward L. Glaeser & David C. Mare, 1994. "Cities and Skills," NBER Working Papers 4728, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Bound, John & Groen, Jeffrey & Kezdi, G.Gabor & Turner, Sarah, 2004. "Trade in university training: cross-state variation in the production and stock of college-educated labor," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 143-173.
  11. Duncan Black & Vernon Henderson, 1999. "A Theory of Urban Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(2), pages 252-284, April.
  12. Scott Baier & Sean Mulholland & Chad Turner & Robert Tamura, 2004. "Income and education of the states of the United States: 1840–2000," Working Paper 2004-31, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  13. Antonio Ciccone & Giovanni Peri, 2004. "Long-run substitutability between more and less educated workers: Evidence from U.S. States 1950-1990," Economics Working Papers 764, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  14. Goldin, Claudia, 1998. "America's Graduation from High School: The Evolution and Spread of Secondary Schooling in the Twentieth Century," Scholarly Articles 2664307, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Norman Baldwin & Stephen Borrelli, 2008. "Education and economic growth in the United States: cross-national applications for an intra-national path analysis," Policy Sciences, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 183-204, September.
  2. Linnea Polgreen & Pedro Silos, 2005. "Capital-skill complementarity and inequality: a sensitivity analysis," Working Paper 2005-20, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  3. Roc Armenter & Francesc Ortega, 2007. "Credible redistributive policies and migration across US States," Economics Working Papers 1022, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  4. Dincer, Oguzhan C., 2011. "Trust and schooling in the United States," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 1097-1102, October.
  5. Ratna, Nazmun N. & Quentin Grafton, R. & Kompas, Tom, 2009. "Is diversity bad for economic growth?: Evidence from state-level data in the US," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 859-870, December.

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