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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 1980-1994. 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
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/asieco

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  1. Lee, J.-W. & Barro, R.J., 1998. "Schooling Quality in a Cross Section of Countries," Papers 659, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  2. Quibria, M. G., 1999. "Challenges to human resource development in Asia," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 431-444.
  3. Felipe, J., 1997. "Total Factor Productivity Growth in East Asia: A Critical Survey," Papers 65, Asian Development Bank.
  4. Gundlach, Erich & Wößmann, Ludger & Gmelin, Jens, 2000. "The decline of schooling productivity in OECD countries," Kiel Working Papers 926, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  5. 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.
  6. James Heckman, 2011. "Policies to foster human capital," Educational Studies, Higher School of Economics, issue 3, pages 73-137.
  7. Jerik Hanushek & Dennis Kimko, 2006. "Schooling, Labor-force Quality, and the Growth of Nations," Educational Studies, Higher School of Economics, issue 1, pages 154-193.
  8. Eric A. Hanushek & Steven G. Rivkin, 1997. "Understanding the Twentieth-Century Growth in U.S. School Spending," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(1), pages 35-68.
  9. Alwyn Young, 1995. "The Tyranny of Numbers: Confronting the Statistical Realities of the East Asian Growth Experience," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 641-680.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Eric A. Hanushek & Dongwook Kim, 1995. "Schooling, Labor Force Quality, and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 5399, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. 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.
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