IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Workers' Education, Spillovers, and Productivity: Evidence from Plant-Level Production Functions

  • Enrico Moretti

I assess the magnitude of human capital spillovers by estimating production functions using a unique firm-worker matched data set. Productivity of plants in cities that experience large increases in the share of college graduates rises more than the productivity of similar plants in cities that experience small increases in the share of college graduates. These productivity gains are offset by increased labor costs. Using three alternative measures of economic distance-input-output flows, technological specialization, and patent citations-I find that within a city, spillovers between industries that are economically close are larger than spillovers between industries that are economically distant.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 94 (2004)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 656-690

in new window

Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:94:y:2004:i:3:p:656-690
Note: DOI: 10.1257/0002828041464623
Contact details of provider: Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. repec:oup:qjecon:v:112:y:1997:i:1:p:253-90 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. 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.
  3. repec:oup:restud:v:56:y:1989:i:4:p:569-82 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. David C. Mowery & Arvids A. Ziedonis, 2001. "The Geographic Reach of Market and Non-Market Channels of Technology Transfer: Comparing Citations and Licenses of University Patents," NBER Working Papers 8568, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Jaffe, Adam B & Trajtenberg, Manuel & Henderson, Rebecca, 1993. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 577-98, August.
  6. Moretti, Enrico, 2004. "Estimating the social return to higher education: evidence from longitudinal and repeated cross-sectional data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 175-212.
  7. Ciccone, Antonio & Peri, Giovanni, 2002. "Identifying Human Capital Externalities: Theory with an Application to US Cities," CEPR Discussion Papers 3350, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Rauch James E., 1993. "Productivity Gains from Geographic Concentration of Human Capital: Evidence from the Cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 380-400, November.
  9. McGahan, Anita M. & Silverman, Brian S., 2001. "How does innovative activity change as industries mature?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(7), pages 1141-1160, July.
  10. repec:oup:qjecon:v:111:y:1996:i:3:p:779-804 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Judith K. Hellerstein & David Neumark & Kenneth R. Troske, 1996. "Wages, Productivity, and Worker Characteristics: Evidence from Plant-Level Production Functions and Wage Equations," NBER Working Papers 5626, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Edward Glaeser, 1997. "Learning in Cities," NBER Working Papers 6271, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Davis, Steven J. & Haltiwanger, John, 1999. "Gross job flows," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 41, pages 2711-2805 Elsevier.
  14. Vernon Henderson, 2001. "Marshall's Scale Economies," Working Papers 01-17, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  15. Zucker, Lynne G & Darby, Michael R & Brewer, Marilynn B, 1998. "Intellectual Human Capital and the Birth of U.S. Biotechnology Enterprises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 290-306, March.
  16. Roback, Jennifer, 1982. "Wages, Rents, and the Quality of Life," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1257-78, December.
  17. Weiss, Leonard W, 1972. "The Geographic Size of Markets in Manufacturing," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 54(3), pages 245-57, August.
  18. Mark J. Roberts & Dylan Supina, 1997. "Output Price and Markup Dispersion in Micro Data: The Roles of Producer Heterogeneity and Noise," NBER Working Papers 6075, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Adam B. Jaffe, 1986. "Technological Opportunity and Spillovers of R&D: Evidence from Firms' Patents, Profits and Market Value," NBER Working Papers 1815, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:94:y:2004:i:3:p:656-690. 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: (Jane Voros)

or (Michael P. Albert)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

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

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.