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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. Daniel Cohen & Marcelo Soto, 2001. "Growth and Human Capital: Good Data, Good Results," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 179, OECD Publishing.
  2. Caselli, Francesco, 2004. "Accounting for Cross-Country Income Differences," CEPR Discussion Papers 4703, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. 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.
  4. Heyneman, Stephen P., 2004. "International education quality," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 441-452, August.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Theodore Breton, 2010. "Schooling and national income: how large are the externalities?," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(1), pages 67-92.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Lee, J.-W. & Barro, R.J., 1998. "Schooling Quality in a Cross Section of Countries," Papers 659, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  11. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2008. "The Role of Cognitive Skills in Economic Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(3), pages 607-68, September.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Theodore Breton, 2010. "Schooling and national income: how large are the externalities? Corrected estimates," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(4), pages 455-456.
  15. Peter J. Klenow & Mark Bils, 2000. "Does Schooling Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1160-1183, December.
  16. Francesco Caselli & James Feyrer, 2005. "The Marginal Product of Capital," NBER Working Papers 11551, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. 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.
  18. Paolo Mauro, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712.
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