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Business Cycles and Investment in Human Capital: International Evidence on Higher Education

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  • Plutarchos Sakellaris

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Maryland and Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System)

  • Antonio Spilimbergo

    ()
    (International Monetary Fund)

Abstract

We study the effect of economic fluctuations on investment in higher education for a wide range of countries. Our main focus is foreign students who come to the United States to attend university. There is a strong relation between enrollment and the business cycle in the sending country. The cyclical pattern of enrollment is sharply different for two groups of countries. For OECD countries enrollment is countercyclical, whereas for non-OECD countries it is procyclical. At business cycle frequencies, opportunity cost plays a dominant role in explaining enrollment from OECD countries, whereas ability to pay and credit constraints seem more prevalent at non-OECD countries. The results are confirmed using data on domestic enrollment from national sources.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Maryland, Department of Economics in its series Electronic Working Papers with number 99-009.

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Date of creation: Sep 1999
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Handle: RePEc:umd:umdeco:99-009

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Department of Economics, University of Maryland, Tydings Hall, College Park, MD 20742
Web page: http://www.econ.umd.edu/

Order Information:
Postal: Ms. Elizabeth Martinez, Department of Economics, University of Maryland, Tydings Hall, College Park, MD 20742
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Keywords: Business Cycles; Education; OECD; Credit Constraints; Opportunity Cost;

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References

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  1. Harris Dellas & Plutarchos Sakellaris, 2003. "On the cyclicality of schooling: theory and evidence," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(1), pages 148-172, January.
  2. Phillips, Peter C. B., 1998. "Impulse response and forecast error variance asymptotics in nonstationary VARs," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1-2), pages 21-56.
  3. Perli, Roberto & Sakellaris, Plutarchos, 1998. "Human capital formation and business cycle persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 67-92, June.
  4. Deininger, K & Squire, L, 1996. "Measuring Income Inequality : A New Data-Base," Papers 537, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  5. Jacob Mincer, 1958. "Investment in Human Capital and Personal Income Distribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 281.
  6. Karnit Flug & Antonio Spilimbergo & Erik Wachtenheim, 1996. "Investment in Education: Do Economic Volatility and Credit Constraints Matter?," Research Department Publications 4000, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  7. Yoram Ben-Porath, 1967. "The Production of Human Capital and the Life Cycle of Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 352.
  8. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong Wha, 1996. "International Measures of Schooling Years and Schooling Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 218-23, May.
  9. Venti, Steven F. & Wise, David A., 1983. "Individual attributes and self-selection of higher education : College attendance versus college completion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 1-32, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. David N. DeJong & Beth F. Ingram, 2001. "The Cyclical Behavior of Skill Acquisition," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 4(3), pages 536-561, July.
  2. Ran Abramitzky & Victor Lavy, 2011. "How Responsive is Investment in Schooling to Changes in Redistribution Policies and in Returns," NBER Working Papers 17093, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Patrick Francois & Huw Lloyd-Ellis, 2001. "Animal Spirits meets Creative Destruction," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 130, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  4. Bedard, Kelly & Herman, Douglas A., 2008. "Who goes to graduate/professional school? The importance of economic fluctuations, undergraduate field, and ability," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 197-210, April.
  5. Adriana Di Liberto & James Symons, 2001. "Education and Italian Regional Development," CEP Discussion Papers dp0496, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  6. A. Di Liberto, 2004. "Convergence clubs and the role of human capital in Spanish Regional Growth," Working Paper CRENoS 200418, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
  7. Keith Blackburn & Dimitrios Varvarigos, 2008. "Human capital accumulation and output growth in a stochastic environment," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 435-452, September.
  8. Dang, Jing & Gillman, Max & Kejak, Michal, 2011. "Real Business Cycles with a Human Capital Investment Sector and Endogenous Growth: Persistence, Volatility and Labor Puzzles," Cardiff Economics Working Papers E2011/8, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section.

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