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The Long Run Importance of School Quality

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  • Eric A. Hanushek

Abstract

The role of schooling and school quality in the economy has become very confused, in part because of attempts to argue different positions on educational policy. Research demonstrates that school quality has a strong impact on individual earnings, on the distribution of income, and on overall economic growth. In contrast to these long run factors, today's school quality has little to do with current business cycles or unemployment rates. This paper emphasizes the importance of school quality -- measured by math and science test scores -- on economic growth. While U.S. growth has been strong over the 20th century, it has not been the result of high quality schooling relative to that in other countries. Instead other factors such as open labor markets and high quality colleges and universities appear to have masked the mediocre performance by U.S. students.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9071.

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Date of creation: Jul 2002
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9071

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  1. Joseph G. Altonji & Charles R. Pierret, 2001. "Employer Learning And Statistical Discrimination," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 313-350, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Fali HUANG & Pao-Li CHANG, 2012. "Trade and Divergence in Education Systems," DEGIT Conference Papers, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade c017_016, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  2. Kaoru Nabeshima, 2003. "Raising the quality of secondary education in East Asia," Policy Research Working Paper Series, The World Bank 3140, The World Bank.
  3. John Richards & Jennifer Hove & Kemi Afolabi, 2008. "Understanding the Aboriginal/Non-Aboriginal Gap in Student Performance: Lessons From British Columbia," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 276, December.
  4. Ortega, Daniel E., 2010. "The effect of wage compression and alternative labor market opportunities on teacher quality in Venezuela," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 760-771, October.
  5. Rogers, Mark Llewellyn, 2008. "Directly unproductive schooling: How country characteristics affect the impact of schooling on growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 356-385, February.
  6. Dankbaar, Ben & Vissers, Geert, 2009. "Of knowledge and work," MPIfG Working Paper, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies 09/16, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.

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