IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/aecrev/v104y2014i6p1777-92.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Compulsory Education and the Benefits of Schooling

Author

Listed:
  • Melvin Stephens Jr.
  • Dou-Yan Yang

Abstract

Causal estimates of the benefits of increased schooling using U.S. state schooling laws as instruments typically rely on specifications which assume common trends across states in the factors affecting different birth cohorts. Differential changes across states during this period, such as relative school quality improvements, suggest that this assumption may fail to hold. Across a number of outcomes including wages, unemployment, and divorce, we find that statistically significant causal estimates become insignificant and, in many instances, wrong-signed when allowing year of birth effects to vary across regions.

Suggested Citation

  • Melvin Stephens Jr. & Dou-Yan Yang, 2014. "Compulsory Education and the Benefits of Schooling," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(6), pages 1777-1792, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:104:y:2014:i:6:p:1777-92
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.104.6.1777
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.104.6.1777
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/10406/20121082_data.zip
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/ds/10406/20121082_ds.zip
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jörn-Steffen Pischke & Till von Wachter, 2008. "Zero Returns to Compulsory Schooling in Germany: Evidence and Interpretation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 592-598, August.
    2. Paul J. Devereux & Robert A. Hart, 2010. "Forced to be Rich? Returns to Compulsory Schooling in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(549), pages 1345-1364, December.
    3. Damon Clark & Heather Royer, 2013. "The Effect of Education on Adult Mortality and Health: Evidence from Britain," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2087-2120, October.
    4. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2005. "Why the Apple Doesn't Fall Far: Understanding Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 437-449, March.
    5. Keith Finlay & Leandro M. Magnusson, 2009. "Implementing weak-instrument robust tests for a general class of instrumental-variables models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 9(3), pages 398-421, September.
    6. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
    7. Kevin Lang & David Kropp, 1986. "Human Capital Versus Sorting: The Effects of Compulsory Attendance Laws," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(3), pages 609-624.
    8. Edwards, Linda Nasif, 1978. "An Empirical Analysis of Compulsory Schooling Legislation, 1940-1960," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 203-222, April.
    9. Frank Kleibergen, 2002. "Pivotal Statistics for Testing Structural Parameters in Instrumental Variables Regression," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 1781-1803, September.
    10. Philip Oreopoulos, 2006. "Estimating Average and Local Average Treatment Effects of Education when Compulsory Schooling Laws Really Matter," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 152-175, March.
    11. Karen Clay & Jeff Lingwall & Melvin Stephens, Jr., 2012. "Do Schooling Laws Matter? Evidence from the Introduction of Compulsory Attendance Laws in the United States," NBER Working Papers 18477, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Hoyt Bleakley, 2007. "Disease and Development: Evidence from Hookworm Eradication in the American South," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(1), pages 73-117.
    13. Pedro Carneiro & James J. Heckman & Edward J. Vytlacil, 2011. "Estimating Marginal Returns to Education," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2754-2781, October.
    14. Imbens, Guido W & Angrist, Joshua D, 1994. "Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 467-475, March.
    15. Goldin, Claudia, 1998. "America's Graduation from High School: The Evolution and Spread of Secondary Schooling in the Twentieth Century," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 345-374, June.
    16. Julien Grenet, 2013. "Is Extending Compulsory Schooling Alone Enough to Raise Earnings? Evidence from French and British Compulsory Schooling Laws," Post-Print halshs-00754526, HAL.
    17. Lance Lochner & Enrico Moretti, 2004. "The Effect of Education on Crime: Evidence from Prison Inmates, Arrests, and Self-Reports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 155-189, March.
    18. Daniel Aaronson & Bhashkar Mazumder, 2011. "The Impact of Rosenwald Schools on Black Achievement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(5), pages 821-888.
    19. Philip Oreopoulos & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2011. "Priceless: The Nonpecuniary Benefits of Schooling," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(1), pages 159-184, Winter.
    20. Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2005. "The Relationship Between Education and Adult Mortality in the United States," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 189-221.
    21. Nelson, Charles R & Startz, Richard, 1990. "Some Further Results on the Exact Small Sample Properties of the Instrumental Variable Estimator," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(4), pages 967-976, July.
    22. Lleras-Muney, Adriana, 2002. "Were Compulsory Attendance and Child Labor Laws Effective? An Analysis from 1915 to 1939," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(2), pages 401-435, October.
    23. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence Katz, 2003. "Mass Secondary Schooling and the State," NBER Working Papers 10075, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. David Card & Alan B. Krueger, 1992. "School Quality and Black-White Relative Earnings: A Direct Assessment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 151-200.
    25. Daron Acemoglu & Joshua Angrist, 2001. "How Large Are Human Capital Externalities? Evidence from Compulsory Schooling Laws," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2000, Volume 15, pages 9-74, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    26. Julien Grenet, 2013. "Is Extending Compulsory Schooling Alone Enough to Raise Earnings? Evidence from French and British Compulsory Schooling Laws," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 115(1), pages 176-210, January.
    27. Marcelo J. Moreira, 2003. "A Conditional Likelihood Ratio Test for Structural Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(4), pages 1027-1048, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. DeCicca, Philip & Krashinsky, Harry, 2020. "Does education reduce teen fertility? Evidence from compulsory schooling laws," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(C).
    2. Philip DeCicca & Harry Krashinsky, 2015. "Does Education Reduce Teen Fertility? Evidence from Compulsory Schooling Laws," NBER Working Papers 21594, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Tony Beatton & Michael P. Kidd & Matteo Sandi, 2020. "School indiscipline and crime," CEP Discussion Papers dp1727, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    4. de New, Sonja C. & Schurer, Stefanie & Sulzmaier, Dominique, 2021. "Gender differences in the lifecycle benefits of compulsory schooling policies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 140(C).
    5. Seeun Jung, 2015. "Does education affect risk aversion? Evidence from the British education reform," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(28), pages 2924-2938, June.
    6. Hofmarcher, Thomas, 2021. "The effect of education on poverty: A European perspective," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 83(C).
    7. Dolton, Peter & Sandi, Matteo, 2017. "Returning to returns: Revisiting the British education evidence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 87-104.
    8. Seeun Jung, 2014. "Does Education Affect Risk Aversion?: Evidence from the 1973 British Education Reform," PSE Working Papers halshs-00967229, HAL.
    9. Paul J. Devereux & Robert A. Hart, 2010. "Forced to be Rich? Returns to Compulsory Schooling in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(549), pages 1345-1364, December.
    10. Bahadır Dursun & Resul Cesur, 2016. "Transforming lives: the impact of compulsory schooling on hope and happiness," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(3), pages 911-956, July.
    11. Fischer, Martin & Karlsson, Martin & Nilsson, Therese & Schwarz, Nina, 2016. "The Sooner the Better? Compulsory Schooling Reforms in Sweden," IZA Discussion Papers 10430, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Clay, Karen & Lingwall, Jeff & Jr, Melvin Stephens, 2021. "Laws, educational outcomes, and returns to schooling evidence from the first wave of U.S. state compulsory attendance laws," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(C).
    13. Aydemir, Abdurrahman & Murat, Kirdar, 2013. "Estimates of the Return to Schooling in a Developing Country: Evidence from a Major Policy Reform in Turkey," MPRA Paper 51938, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Meyer, Andrew G., 2017. "The impact of education on political ideology: Evidence from European compulsory education reforms," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 9-23.
    15. Weiss, Christoph T., 2015. "Education and regional mobility in Europe," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 129-141.
    16. Ciprian Domnisoru, 2021. "Heterogeneity across Families in the Impact of Compulsory Schooling Laws," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 88(350), pages 399-429, April.
    17. Gordon Dahl, 2010. "Early teen marriage and future poverty," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 47(3), pages 689-718, August.
    18. Gradstein, Mark & Justman, Moshe, 2009. "Understanding Compulsory Schooling Legislation: A Formal Model and Implications for Empirical Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 4420, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    19. Martin Fischer & Martin Karlsson & Therese Nilsson & Nina Schwarz, 2020. "The Long-Term Effects of Long Terms – Compulsory Schooling Reforms in Sweden," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 18(6), pages 2776-2823.
    20. Daniel A. Kamhöfer & Hendrik Schmitz, 2013. "Analyzing Zero Returns to Education in Germany – Heterogeneous Eff ects and Skill Formation," Ruhr Economic Papers 0446, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • N31 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • N32 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:104:y:2014:i:6:p:1777-92. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Michael P. Albert (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.