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

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  • Breton, Theodore R.

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Breton, Theodore R., 2011. "The quality vs. the quantity of schooling: What drives economic growth?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 765-773, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:30:y:2011:i:4:p:765-773
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    1. Eric Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2012. "Do better schools lead to more growth? Cognitive skills, economic outcomes, and causation," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 267-321, December.
    2. Caselli, Francesco, 2005. "Accounting for Cross-Country Income Differences," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 9, pages 679-741, Elsevier.
    3. 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.
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    5. 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 465-488, November.
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    7. 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.
    8. 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.
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    12. 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.
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cognitive skills Human capital Education Schooling Economic growth;

    JEL classification:

    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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