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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
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev

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  1. Mikael Lindahl & Alan B. Krueger, 2001. "Education for Growth: Why and for Whom?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1101-1136, December.
  2. 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.
  3. Theodore R. Breton, 2010. "Schooling and National Income: How Large Are the Externalities? Corrected Estimates," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO CIEF 011828, UNIVERSIDAD EAFIT.
  4. Hanushek, Eric A. & Woessmann, Ludger, 2009. "Do Better Schools Lead to More Growth? Cognitive Skills, Economic Outcomes, and Causation," IZA Discussion Papers 4575, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Francesco Caselli, 2007. "The Marginal Product of Capital," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(2), pages 535-568, 05.
  6. Francesco Caselli, 2004. "Accounting for Cross-Country Income Differences," NBER Working Papers 10828, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Jong-Wha Lee & Robert J. Barro, 1997. "Schooling Quality in a Cross Section of Countries," NBER Working Papers 6198, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Ben S. Bernanke & Refet S. Gurkaynak, 2001. "Is Growth Exogenous? Taking Mankiw, Romer and Weil Seriously," NBER Working Papers 8365, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Jamison, Eliot A. & Jamison, Dean T. & Hanushek, Eric A., 2007. "The effects of education quality on income growth and mortality decline," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 771-788, December.
  10. 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.
  11. Theodore R. Breton, 2007. "Schooling and National Income: How Large Are the Externalities?," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO CIEF 011827, UNIVERSIDAD EAFIT.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Eric Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2008. "The Role of Cognitive Skills in Economic Development," Discussion Papers 07-034, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  16. Peter J. Klenow & Mark Bils, 2000. "Does Schooling Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1160-1183, December.
  17. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
  18. Heyneman, Stephen P., 2004. "International education quality," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 441-452, August.
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