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A Large Scale Experiment : Wages and Educational Expansion in France

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  • Marc Gurgand

    (Crest)

  • Eric Maurin

    (Crest)

Abstract

We evaluate the wage impact of the strong and rapid increase in schoolinglevels experienced by the cohorts born after WWII in France. In order toidentify the causal effect of education, we exploit the fact that the smallgroup of people graduating from elite education (Grandes Ecoles) remainedstable, while the rest of the system experienced tremendous transformation.This provides a well defined control group. Using large scale labor forcesurveys for the 1990's, we find that the cohorts that received more educationhave a lower wage gap, relative to Grandes Ecoles. We show that such alarge scale experiment measures a social return to schooling even in thepresence of signaling, whereas strategies based on quasi-experiments are notnecessarily robust to signaling. Our instrumental variable estimation findsreturns to schooling very similar to the rest of the literature, which is a strongcase against the signaling hypothesis.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique in its series Working Papers with number 2007-31.

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Length: 29
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:crs:wpaper:2007-31

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Cited by:
  1. Francesco Vona, 2011. "Does the Expansion of Higher Education Reduce Educational Inequality? Evidence from 12 European Countries," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2011-12, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  2. Etilé, Fabrice & Jones, Andrew M., 2011. "Schooling and smoking among the baby boomers - An evaluation of the impact of educational expansion in France," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 811-831, July.

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