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The Evolution of Education: A Macroeconomic Analysis

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  • Diego Restuccia
  • Guillaume Vandenbroucke

Abstract

Between 1940 and 2000 there has been a substantial increase of educational attainment in the United States. What caused this trend? We develop a model of human capital accumulation that features a non-degenerate distribution of educational attainment in the population. We use this framework to assess the quantitative contribution of technological progress and changes in life expectancy in explaining the evolution of educational attainment. The model implies an increase in average years of schooling of 24 percent which is the increase observed in the data. We find that technological variables and in particular skill-biased technical change represent the most important factors in accounting for the increase in educational attainment. The strong response of schooling to changes in income is informative about the potential role of educational policy and the impact of other trends affecting lifetime income.

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Paper provided by University of Toronto, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number tecipa-446.

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Length: Unknown pages
Date of creation: 01 Mar 2012
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Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-446

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Keywords: educational attainment; schooling; skill-biased technical progress; human capital;

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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Is skill-biased technological change driving education improvements?
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2008-10-15 14:06:00
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
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Cited by:
  1. Diego Restuccia & Guillaume Vandenbroucke, 2012. "A Century of Human Capital and Hours," Working Papers tecipa-450, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  2. Jeremy Greenwood, 2011. "Technology And The Changing Family," 2011 Meeting Papers 1420, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Todd Schoellman & Lutz Hendricks, 2009. "Student Abilities During the Expansion of U.S. Education, 1950-2000," 2009 Meeting Papers 162, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Daniele Coen-Pirani & Rui Castro, 2010. "Public Policy, Technological Change, and the Evolution of Educational Attainment," 2010 Meeting Papers 754, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Hui He, 2010. "Why Have Girls Gone to College? A Quantitative Examination of the Female College Enrollment Rate in the United States: 1955-1980," Working Papers 201016, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
  6. 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.
  7. Diego Restuccia & Guillaume Vandenbroucke, 2008. "The Evolution of Education: A Macroeconomic Analysis," Working Papers tecipa-339, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  8. He, Hui, 2012. "What drives the skill premium: Technological change or demographic variation?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1546-1572.
  9. Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner & Georgi Kocharkov & Cezar Santos, 2011. "Technology and the Changing Family: A Unified Model of Marriage, Divorce, Educational Attainment and Married Female Labor-Force Participation," Economie d'Avant Garde Research Reports 18, Economie d'Avant Garde.
  10. John Bailey Jones & Fang Yang, 2012. "Skill-Biased Technical Change and the Cost of Higher Education," Discussion Papers 12-08, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
  11. Gonzalo Castex, 2010. "Accounting for Changes in College Attendance Profile: a Quantitative Life-Cycle Analysis," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 598, Central Bank of Chile.

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