IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/tpr/restat/v97y2015i2p533-547.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Effect of Schooling on Cognitive Skills

Author

Listed:
  • Magnus Carlsson

    (Linnaeus University)

  • Gordon B. Dahl

    (UC San Diego)

  • Björn Öckert

    (Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy and Uppsala University)

  • Dan-Olof Rooth

    (Linnaeus University)

Abstract

To identify the causal effect of schooling on cognitive skills, we exploit conditionally random variation in the date Swedish males take a battery of cognitive tests in preparation for military service. We find an extra ten days of school instruction raises scores on crystallized intelligence tests (synonyms and technical comprehension tests) by approximately 1 percent of a standard deviation, whereas extra nonschool days have almost no effect. In contrast, test scores on fluid intelligence tests (spatial and logic tests) do not increase with additional days of schooling but do increase modestly with age.

Suggested Citation

  • Magnus Carlsson & Gordon B. Dahl & Björn Öckert & Dan-Olof Rooth, 2015. "The Effect of Schooling on Cognitive Skills," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 97(3), pages 533-547, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:97:y:2015:i:2:p:533-547
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/REST_a_00501
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Elizabeth U. Cascio & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2016. "First in the Class? Age and the Education Production Function," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 11(3), pages 225-250, Summer.
    2. Kasey S. Buckles & Daniel M. Hungerman, 2013. "Season of Birth and Later Outcomes: Old Questions, New Answers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(3), pages 711-724, July.
    3. Patrick A. Puhani & Andrea M. Weber, 2008. "Does the early bird catch the worm?," Studies in Empirical Economics, in: Christian Dustmann & Bernd Fitzenberger & Stephen Machin (ed.), The Economics of Education and Training, pages 105-132, Springer.
    4. Hausman, Jerry, 2015. "Specification tests in econometrics," Applied Econometrics, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), vol. 38(2), pages 112-134.
    5. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2011. "Too Young to Leave the Nest? The Effects of School Starting Age," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 455-467, May.
    6. Fredriksson, Peter & Öckert, Björn, 2005. "Is Early Learning Really More Productive? The Effect of School Starting Age on School and Labor Market Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 1659, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Melissa Osborne & Herbert Gintis & Samuel Bowles, 2001. "The Determinants of Earnings: A Behavioral Approach," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1137-1176, December.
    8. Fertig, Michael & Kluve, Jochen, 2005. "The Effect of Age at School Entry on Educational Attainment in Germany," RWI Discussion Papers 27, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.
    9. Murnane, Richard J & Willett, John B & Levy, Frank, 1995. "The Growing Importance of Cognitive Skills in Wage Determination," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(2), pages 251-266, May.
    10. Justin McCrary & Heather Royer, 2011. "The Effect of Female Education on Fertility and Infant Health: Evidence from School Entry Policies Using Exact Date of Birth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(1), pages 158-195, February.
    11. Erik Lindqvist & Roine Vestman, 2011. "The Labor Market Returns to Cognitive and Noncognitive Ability: Evidence from the Swedish Enlistment," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 101-128, January.
    12. Christopher R. Taber, 2001. "The Rising College Premium in the Eighties: Return to College or Return to Unobserved Ability?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(3), pages 665-691.
    13. Dobkin, Carlos & Ferreira, Fernando, 2010. "Do school entry laws affect educational attainment and labor market outcomes?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 40-54, February.
    14. Blackburn, McKinley L & Neumark, David, 1993. "Omitted-Ability Bias and the Increase in the Return to Schooling," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(3), pages 521-544, July.
    15. Cawley, John & Heckman, James & Vytlacil, Edward, 2001. "Three observations on wages and measured cognitive ability," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 419-442, September.
    16. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Keueger, 1991. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 979-1014.
    17. Edwin Leuven & Mikael Lindahl & Hessel Oosterbeek & Dinand Webbink, 2004. "New evidence on the effect of time in school on early achievement," HEW 0410001, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Datar, Ashlesha, 2006. "Does delaying kindergarten entrance give children a head start?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 43-62, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Luís Martins & Manuel Coutinho Pereira, 2017. "Disentangling the channels from birthdate to educational attainment," Working Papers w201706, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    2. Rashmi Barua & Kevin Lang, 2009. "School Entry, Educational Attainment and Quarter of Birth: A Cautionary Tale of LATE," NBER Working Papers 15236, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Leuven, Edwin & Lindahl, Mikael & Oosterbeek, Hessel & Webbink, Dinand, 2010. "Expanding schooling opportunities for 4-year-olds," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 319-328, June.
    4. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2011. "Too Young to Leave the Nest? The Effects of School Starting Age," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 455-467, May.
    5. David Deming & Susan Dynarski, 2008. "The Lengthening of Childhood," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(3), pages 71-92, Summer.
    6. Huang, Cheng & Zhang, Shiying & Zhao, Qingguo, 2020. "The early bird catches the worm? School entry cutoff and the timing of births," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    7. Dhuey, Elizabeth & Lipscomb, Stephen, 2010. "Disabled or young? Relative age and special education diagnoses in schools," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 857-872, October.
    8. Elizabeth U. Cascio & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2016. "First in the Class? Age and the Education Production Function," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 11(3), pages 225-250, Summer.
    9. Grace Arnold & Briggs Depew, 2018. "School starting age and long‐run health in the United States," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(12), pages 1904-1920, December.
    10. Martin Schlotter, 2011. "Age at Preschool Entrance and Noncognitive Skills before School - An Instrumental Variable Approach," ifo Working Paper Series 112, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    11. Patrizia Ordine & Giuseppe Rose, 2019. "Early entry, age-at-test, and schooling attainment: evidence from Italian primary schools," Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics, Springer;Fondazione Edison, vol. 36(3), pages 761-784, October.
    12. Köllő, János & Hámori, Szilvia, 2011. "Kinek használ az évvesztés?. Iskolakezdési kor és tanulói teljesítmények Magyarországon [Who gains by postponed schooling?. Age at starting school and achievement as pupils in Hungary]," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(2), pages 133-157.
    13. Görlitz, Katja & Penny, Merlin & Tamm, Marcus, 2019. "The long-term effect of age at school entry on competencies in adulthood," Ruhr Economic Papers 792, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    14. Youwei Wang & Yuxin Chen & Yi Qian, 2018. "The Causal Link between Relative Age Effect and Entrepreneurship: Evidence from 17 Million Users across 49 Years on Taobao," NBER Working Papers 25318, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Nam, Kigon, 2014. "Until when does the effect of age on academic achievement persist? Evidence from Korean data," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 106-122.
    16. Claire Crawford & Lorraine Dearden & Ellen Greaves, 2013. "The drivers of month of birth differences in children's cognitive and non-cognitive skills: a regression discontinuity analysis," IFS Working Papers W13/08, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    17. Dionissi Aliprantis, 2012. "When should children start school?," Working Papers (Old Series) 1126, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    18. Fiorini, Mario & Katrien Stevens, 2014. "Assessing the Monotonicity Assumption in IV and fuzzy RD designs," Working Papers 2014-13, University of Sydney, School of Economics.
    19. Martin Schlotter, 2012. "Educational Production in Preschools and Schools - Microeconometric Evidence from Germany," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 41, August.
    20. Mazzutti, Caio Cícero Toledo Piza da Costa, 2016. "Three essays on the causal impacts of child labour laws in Brazil," Economics PhD Theses 0616, Department of Economics, University of Sussex Business School.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    cognitive skills; Sweden; military service; crystallized intelligence tests;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • L30 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - General

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:97:y:2015:i:2:p:533-547. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://www.mitpressjournals.org/ .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Ann Olson (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://www.mitpressjournals.org/ .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.