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Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Public Schools in the United States

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  • Card, David
  • Krueger, Alan B

Abstract

This paper estimates the effects of school quality--measured by the pupil/teacher ratio, average term length, and relative teacher pay--on the rate of return to education for men born between 1920 and 1949. Using earnings data from the 1980 census, the authors find that men who were educated in states with higher-quality schools have a higher return to additional years of schooling. Rates of return are also higher for individuals from states with better-educated teachers and with a higher fraction of female teachers. Holding constant school quality measures, however, the authors find no evidence that parental income or education affects average state-level rates of return. Copyright 1992 by University of Chicago Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1992. "Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Public Schools in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 1-40, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:100:y:1992:i:1:p:1-40
    DOI: 10.1086/261805
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. George E. Johnson & Frank P. Stafford, 1973. "Social Returns to Quantity and Quality of Schooling," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(2), pages 139-155.
    2. Smith, James P & Welch, Finis R, 1989. "Black Economic Progress after Myrdal," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(2), pages 519-564, June.
    3. Behrman, Jere R & Birdsall, Nancy, 1983. "The Quality of Schooling: Quantity Alone is Misleading," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 928-946, December.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General

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