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The quality vs. the quantity of schooling: What drives economic growth?

  • Breton, Theodore R.

This paper challenges Hanushek and Woessmann's (2008) contention that the quality and not the quantity of schooling determines a nation's rate of economic growth. I first show that their statistical analysis is flawed. I then show that when a nation's average test scores and average schooling attainment are included in a national income model, both measures explain income differences, but schooling attainment has greater statistical significance. The high correlation between a nation's average schooling attainment, cumulative investment in schooling, and average tests scores indicates that average schooling attainment implicitly measures the quality as well as the quantity of schooling.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.

Volume (Year): 30 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 765-773

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:30:y:2011:i:4:p:765-773
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  1. Eliot A. Jamison & Dean T. Jamison & Eric A. Hanushek, 2006. "The Effects of Education Quality on Income Growth and Mortality Decline," NBER Working Papers 12652, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Ben S. Bernanke & Refet S. Gürkaynak, 2002. "Is Growth Exogenous? Taking Mankiw, Romer, and Weil Seriously," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2001, Volume 16, pages 11-72 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Hanushek, Eric A. & Wößmann, Ludger, 2008. "The role of cognitive skills in economic development," Munich Reprints in Economics 20454, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  4. Alan B. Krueger & Mikael Lindahl, 2000. "Education for Growth: Why and For Whom?," NBER Working Papers 7591, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-437.
  6. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2009. "Do Better Schools Lead to More Growth? Cognitive Skills, Economic Outcomes, and Causation," CESifo Working Paper Series 2524, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Caselli, Francesco, 2004. "Accounting for Cross-Country Income Differences," CEPR Discussion Papers 4703, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Theodore R. Breton, 2010. "Schooling and National Income: How Large Are the Externalities? Corrected Estimates," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO CIEF 011828, UNIVERSIDAD EAFIT.
  9. Lee, Jong-Wha & Barro, Robert J, 2001. "Schooling Quality in a Cross-Section of Countries," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(272), pages 465-88, November.
  10. Peter J. Klenow & Mark Bils, 2000. "Does Schooling Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1160-1183, December.
  11. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:107:y:1992:i:2:p:407-37 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Theodore Breton, 2010. "Schooling and national income: how large are the externalities?," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(1), pages 67-92.
  13. Francesco Caselli & James Feyrer, 2007. "The Marginal Product of Capital," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(2), pages 535-568.
  14. 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.
  15. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1990. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Heyneman, Stephen P., 2004. "International education quality," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 441-452, August.
  17. Daniel Cohen & Marcelo Soto, 2007. "Growth and human capital: good data, good results," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 51-76, March.
  18. Paolo Mauro, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712.
  19. Hanushek, Eric A., 2006. "Alternative school policies and the benefits of general cognitive skills," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 447-462, August.
  20. Hai-Anh Dang & F. Halsey Rogers, 2008. "The Growing Phenomenon of Private Tutoring: Does It Deepen Human Capital, Widen Inequalities, or Waste Resources?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 23(2), pages 161-200, April.
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