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A large scale experiment: wages and educational expansion in France

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Author Info

  • Marc Gurgand

    (EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris, CREST - Centre de Recherche en Économie et Statistique - INSEE - École Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Économique, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - École normale supérieure [ENS] - Paris)

  • Eric Maurin

    (EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris, CREST - Centre de Recherche en Économie et Statistique - INSEE - École Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Économique, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - École normale supérieure [ENS] - Paris, CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research - CEPR)

Abstract

We evaluate the wage impact of the strong and rapid increase in schooling levels experienced by the cohorts born after WWII in France. In order to identify the causal effect of education, we exploit the fact that the small group of people graduating from elite education (Grandes Ecoles) remained stable, while the rest of the system experienced tremendous transformation. This provides a well defined control group. Using large scale labor force surveys for the 1990's, we find that the cohorts that received more education have a lower wage gap, relative to Grandes Ecoles. We show that such a large scale experiment measures a social return to schooling even in the presence of signaling, whereas strategies based on quasi-experiments are not necessarily robust to signaling. Our instrumental variable estimation finds returns to schooling very similar to the rest of the literature, which is a strong case against the signaling hypothesis.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by HAL in its series PSE Working Papers with number halshs-00587884.

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Date of creation: Aug 2007
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Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00587884

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Related research

Keywords: education ; returns to schooling ; natural experiment ; signaling;

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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, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE) 2011-12, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  2. Jones, A.M & Etile, F, 2010. "Schooling and smoking among the baby boomers and evaluation of the impact of educational expansion in France," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York 10/02, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.

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