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Vive la Révolution! Long Term Returns of 1968 to the Angry Students

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  • Maurin, Eric
  • McNally, Sandra

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 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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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4940.

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Date of creation: Mar 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4940

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Keywords: higher education; intergenerational; wages;

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References

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  1. Arnaud Chevalier, 2004. "Parental Education and Child’s Education - A Natural Experiment," Working Papers 200414, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  2. Jo Blanden & Alissa Goodman & Paul Gregg & Stephen Machin, 2002. "Changes in Intergenerational Mobility in Britain," CEE Discussion Papers 0026, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  3. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2003. "Why the Apple Doesn't Fall Far: Understanding Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital," NBER Working Papers 10066, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. David Card, 2000. "Estimating the Return to Schooling: Progress on Some Persistent Econometric Problems," NBER Working Papers 7769, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  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. 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.
  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. 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.
  4. 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.
  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. 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.
  7. Holmlund, Helena, 2007. "A Researcher's Guide to the Swedish Compulsory School Reform," Working Paper Series 9/2007, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Mussa, Richard, 2014. "Youth Wage Employment and Parental Education in Malawi," MPRA Paper 54629, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Enkelejda Havari & Marco Savegnago, 2013. "The causal effect of parents’ schooling on children’s schooling in Europe. A new IV approach," Working Papers 2013:30, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".

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