IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Firm-level social returns to education

  • Pedro Martins


  • Jim Jin

Do workers benefit from the education of their co-workers? This question is examined first by introducing a model of on-the-job schooling, which argues that educated workers may transfer part of their general skills to uneducated workers and that this spillover is affected by the degrees of non-excludability, irreversibility and generality of those skills. We then conduct an empirical analysis drawing on a matched panel of Portuguese firms and their workers. Schooling endogeneity is tackled by considering firm fixed effects and instruments based on schooling lags and the lagged share of retirement-age workers. We find evidence of large firm-level social returns (ranging between 14% and 23% – and thus exceeding standard estimates of private returns) and of significant returns accruing to less educated workers but not to their more educated colleagues.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Population Economics.

Volume (Year): 23 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 539-558

in new window

Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:23:y:2010:i:2:p:539-558
Contact details of provider: Phone: +43-70-2468-8236
Fax: +43-70-2468-8238
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Harmon, Colm & Walker, Ian, 1995. "Estimates of the Economic Return to Schooling for the United Kingdom," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1278-86, December.
  2. Acemoglu, D. & Pischke, J.S., 1997. "The Structure of Wages and Investment in General Training," Working papers 97-24, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  3. Pereira, Pedro T. & Martins, Pedro S., 2001. "Is there a Return-Risk Link in Education?," IZA Discussion Papers 321, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Kevin Milligan & Enrico Moretti & Philip Oreopoulos, 2003. "Does Education Improve Citizenship? Evidence from the U.S. and the U.K," NBER Working Papers 9584, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Moretti, Enrico, 2004. "Estimating the social return to higher education: evidence from longitudinal and repeated cross-sectional data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 175-212.
  6. Lance Lochner & Enrico Moretti, 2001. "The Effect of Education on Crime: Evidence from Prison Inmates, Arrests, and Self-Reports," NBER Working Papers 8605, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. James Heckman & Pedro Carneiro, 2003. "Human Capital Policy," NBER Working Papers 9495, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Vincent (Vincent Peter) Hogan & Ian Walker, 2003. "Education choice under uncertainty and public policy," Working Papers 200302, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  9. Mahmood Arai, 2003. "Wages, Profits, and Capital Intensity: Evidence from Matched Worker-Firm Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(3), pages 593-618, July.
  10. repec:oup:qjecon:v:118:y:2003:i:4:p:1495-1532 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Ciccone, Antonio & Peri, Giovanni, 2002. "Identifying Human Capital Externalities: Theory with an Application to US Cities," IZA Discussion Papers 488, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Janet Currie & Enrico Moretti, 2003. "Mother's Education and the Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital: Evidence from College Openings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1495-1532.
  13. Alan Krueger & Orley Ashenfelter, 1992. "Estimates of the Economic Return to Schooling from a New Sample of Twins," NBER Working Papers 4143, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Jere R. Behrman & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2002. "Does Increasing Women's Schooling Raise the Schooling of the Next Generation?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 323-334, March.
  15. Daron Acemoglu & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1998. "Beyond Becker: Training in Imperfect Labor Markets," NBER Working Papers 6740, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Vieira, Jose A. C., 1999. "Returns to education in Portugal," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 535-541, November.
  17. Jeremy B. Rudd, 2000. "Empirical evidence on human capital spillovers," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-46, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  18. repec:oup:qjecon:v:111:y:1996:i:1:p:227-51 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Zvi Griliches & Jerry A. Hausman, 1984. "Errors in Variables in Panel Data," NBER Technical Working Papers 0037, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  21. Daron Acemoglu & Joshua Angrist, 2001. "How Large are Human-Capital Externalities? Evidence from Compulsory-Schooling Laws," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2000, Volume 15, pages 9-74 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. repec:oup:qjecon:v:111:y:1996:i:3:p:779-804 is not listed on IDEAS
  23. Rauch James E., 1993. "Productivity Gains from Geographic Concentration of Human Capital: Evidence from the Cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 380-400, November.
  24. Enrico Moretti, 2004. "Workers' Education, Spillovers, and Productivity: Evidence from Plant-Level Production Functions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 656-690, June.
  25. Pedro Carneiro & Karsten T. Hansen & James J. Heckman, 2003. "Estimating Distributions of Treatment Effects with an Application to the Returns to Schooling and Measurement of the Effects of Uncertainty on College," NBER Working Papers 9546, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald & Peter Sanfey, 1996. "Wages, Profits, and Rent-Sharing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(1), pages 227-251.
  27. Hogan, Vincent & Ian Walker, 2002. "Education Choice under Uncertainty," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 103, Royal Economic Society.
  28. Martins, Pedro S., 2004. "Rent Sharing Before and After the Wage Bill," IZA Discussion Papers 1376, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  29. Philip Trostel & Ian Walker, 2006. "Education and Work," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(4), pages 377-399.
  30. Francis Kramarz, 2003. "Wages and International Trade," Working Papers 2003-27, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  31. Carneiro, Pedro & Hansen, Karsten T. & Heckman, James J., 2003. "Estimating Distributions of Treatment Effects with an Application to the Returns to Schooling and Measurement of the Effects of Uncertainty on College Choice," IZA Discussion Papers 767, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  32. 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.
  33. Katz, Lawrence F. & Autor, David H., 1999. "Changes in the wage structure and earnings inequality," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1463-1555 Elsevier.
  34. Martins, Pedro S. & Pereira, Pedro T., 2004. "Does education reduce wage inequality? Quantile regression evidence from 16 countries," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 355-371, June.
  35. Martins, Pedro S. & Novo, Alvaro A. & Portugal, Pedro, 2009. "Increasing the Legal Retirement Age: The Impact on Wages, Worker Flows and Firm Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 4187, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  36. Harminder Battu & Clive R. Belfield & Peter J. Sloane, 2003. "Human Capital Spillovers within the Workplace: Evidence for Great Britain," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 65(5), pages 575-594, December.
  37. Daron Acemoglu, 1996. "A Microfoundation for Social Increasing Returns in Human Capital Accumulation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(3), pages 779-804.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:23:y:2010:i:2:p:539-558. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla)

or (Christopher F Baum)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.