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The Causes and Consequences of Cross-Country Differences in Schooling Attainment

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  • Schoellman, Todd

Abstract

This paper uses labor market evidence to quantify the importance of quality-adjusted schooling differences in accounting for cross-country income differences. I model labor markets that are consistent with cross-country data on schooling attainment, education quality, and the average returns to schooling of a country’s emigrants and its non-migrants. The model suggests that the Mincerian returns to schooling of immigrants to the United States measure the education qualities of their source countries. Measured this way, quality differences across countries are large, and the calibrated model shows that schooling accounts for a factor of 5 of the income difference between the U.S. and the poorest countries. The evidence suggests that immigrants to the U.S. are positively selected members of their source country, and that immigrants from developing countries are more selected than those from developed countries. Then the low education quality measured in the sample actually overestimates the education quality of the average non-migrant, particularly for developing countries. Two methods of controlling for selection among immigrants thus predict a moderately larger role for schooling, between a factor of 6.5 and 7.9.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 9243.

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Date of creation: May 2008
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:9243

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  1. Juan-Carlos Cordoba & Marla Ripoll, 2007. "The Role of Education in Development," 2007 Meeting Papers 1022, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Eric A. Hanushek & Dongwook Kim, 1995. "Schooling, Labor Force Quality, and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 5399, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Psacharopoulos, George & Patrinos, Harry Anthony, 2002. "Returns to investment in education : a further update," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2881, The World Bank.
  4. Hendricks, Lutz A., 2002. "How Important is Human Capital for Development? Evidence from Immigrant Earnings," Staff General Research Papers 11409, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  5. Rodrigo R. Soares, 2005. "Mortality Reductions, Educational Attainment, and Fertility Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 580-601, June.
  6. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2007. "The Role of School Improvement in Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 12832, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Oecd, 1996. "Internationalism of Policy-making," SIGMA Papers 6, OECD Publishing.
  8. Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem & Ryder, Harl E. & Weil, David N., 2000. "Mortality decline, human capital investment, and economic growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 1-23, June.
  9. Psacharopoulos, George, 1994. "Returns to investment in education: A global update," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(9), pages 1325-1343, September.
  10. Peter J. Klenow & Mark Bils, 2000. "Does Schooling Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1160-1183, December.
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  15. Hanushek, Eric A, 1995. "Interpreting Recent Research on Schooling in Developing Countries," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 10(2), pages 227-46, August.
  16. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
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  18. Anne Case & Angus Deaton, 1999. "School Inputs And Educational Outcomes In South Africa," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 1047-1084, August.
  19. Peter Klenow & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 1997. "The Neoclassical Revival in Growth Economics: Has It Gone Too Far?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 73-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Curtis Simon & Robert Tamura, 2010. "Secular Fertility Declines, Baby Booms and Economic Growth: International Evidence," 2010 Meeting Papers 1041, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Amparo Castelló-Climent & Ana Hidalgo-Cabrillana, 2010. "Quality and quantity of education in the process of development," Economics Working Papers we1020, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  3. Cordoba, Juan Carlos & Ripoll, Marla, 2013. "What explains schooling differences across countries?," Staff General Research Papers 36066, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  4. Kevin M. Murphy & Curtis J. Simon & Robert Tamura, 2011. "Black and White Fertility, Differential Baby Booms: The Value of Civil Rights (Equal Opportunity for Education)," 2011 Meeting Papers 238, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Lutz Hendricks, 2010. "Cross-country variation in educational attainment: structural change or within-industry skill upgrading?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 205-233, September.
  6. Tamura, Robert & Dwyer, Gerald P & Devereux, John & Baier, Scott, 2012. "Data appendix for economic growth in the long run," MPRA Paper 41325, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Tamura, Robert & Dwyer, Gerald P. & Devereux, John & Baier, Scott, 2012. "Economic growth In the long run," MPRA Paper 41324, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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