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The fading productivity of schooling in East Asia

  • Gundlach, Erich
  • Wo[beta]mann, Ludger

We estimate changes in the productivity of schooling for six East Asian countries. Our productivity measure is based on changes in the relative price of schooling. A rising price of schooling relative to other labor-intensive service sectors should indicate declining relative schooling productivity. We find that the price of schooling increased by more than the price of other labor-intensive services in 1980 to 1994. We also find that the cognitive achievement of pupils did not change substantially, which suggests a constant quality of schooling output. Hence, we conclude that schooling productivity has declined. The main reason for the fading productivity of schooling in East Asian countries appears to be a strong decline in the pupil-teacher ratio.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Asian Economics.

Volume (Year): 12 (2001)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 401-417

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Handle: RePEc:eee:asieco:v:12:y:2001:i:3:p:401-417
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  1. Gundlach, Erich & Wossmann, Ludger & Gmelin, Jens, 2001. "The Decline of Schooling Productivity in OECD Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(471), pages C135-47, May.
  2. Rao, M. Govinda, 1998. "Accommodating public expenditure policies: the case of fast growing Asian economies," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 673-694, April.
  3. Lee, J.-W. & Barro, R.J., 1998. "Schooling Quality in a Cross Section of Countries," Papers 659, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  4. James Heckman, 2011. "Policies to foster human capital," Educational Studies, Higher School of Economics, issue 3, pages 73-137.
  5. Quibria, M. G., 1999. "Challenges to human resource development in Asia," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 431-444.
  6. Dennis D. Kimko & Eric A. Hanushek, 2000. "Schooling, Labor-Force Quality, and the Growth of Nations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1184-1208, December.
  7. Behrman, Jere R., 1999. "Schooling in Asia: Selected microevidence on determinants, effects, and policy implications," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 147-194.
  8. Mingat, Alain, 1998. "The strategy used by high-performing Asian economies in education: Some lessons for developing countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 695-715, April.
  9. Pritchett, Lant & Filmer, Deon, 1999. "What education production functions really show: a positive theory of education expenditures," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 223-239, April.
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