Human Capital versus Signaling Models: University Access and High School Dropouts
Under the educational sorting hypothesis, an environment in which some individuals are constrained from entering university will be characterized by increased pooling at the high school graduation level, as compared to an environment with greater university access. This results because some potential high school dropouts and university enrollees choose the high school graduate designation in order to take advantage of high-ability individuals who are constrained from entering university. This is in stark contrast to human capital theory, which predicts higher university enrollment but identical high school dropout rates in regions with greater university access. I test the contradictory high school dropout predictions of the human capital and signaling models using NLSYM and NLSYW education data from the late 1960s and early 1970s. I find that labor markets that contain universities have higher high school dropout rates. This result is consistent with a signaling model and inconsistent with a pure human capital model.
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.:
- David Card, 1993.
"Using Geographic Variation in College Proximity to Estimate the Return to Schooling,"
NBER Working Papers
4483, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- David Card, 1993. "Using Geographic Variation in College Proximity to Estimate the Return to Schooling," Working Papers 696, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
- Lang, Kevin & Kropp, David, 1986. "Human Capital versus Sorting: The Effects of Compulsory Attendance Laws," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(3), pages 609-24, August.
- Spence, A Michael, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-74, August.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:109:y:2001:i:4:p:749-775. 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: (Journals Division)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.