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Skill-Biased Technical Change and the Cost of Higher Education

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  • John Bailey Jones
  • Fang Yang

Abstract

We document the growth in higher education costs and tuition over the past 50 years. To explain these trends, we develop a general equilibrium model with skill- and sector-biased technical change. We assume that higher education suffers from Baumol's (1967) service sector disease, in that the quantity of labor and capital needed to educate a student is constant over time. Finding the model's parameters through a combination of calibration and estimation, we show that it can explain the rise in college costs between 1961 and 2009, along with the increase in college attainment and the increase in the relative earnings of college graduates. We finish by using the model to perform a number of numerical experiments.

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Paper provided by University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 12-08.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:nya:albaec:12-08

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Postal: Department of Economics, BA 110 University at Albany State University of New York Albany, NY 12222 U.S.A.
Phone: (518) 442-4735
Fax: (518) 442-4736

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Postal: Department of Economics, BA 110 University at Albany State University of New York Albany, NY 12222 U.S.A.
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Web: http://www.albany.edu/economics/research/workingp/index.shtml

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