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Estimating the Social Return on Schooling

In: Proceedings of the Conference on Human and Economic Resources

  • Marcelo Soto

    (Instituto de Análisis Económico)

A number of papers .nd that changes in schooling are not correlated with changes in per capita income. Two non-competing interpretations that have been given are that the social return on schooling is close to zero and the measurement error of changes in schooling is high. This paper shows that the lack of significance of schooling is threefold. First, there is a problem of a proper definition of the way in which years of schooling should enter in a production function. Second, collinearity between physical and human capital stocks seriously undermines the ability of educational indicators to display any significance in panel data estimates. And third, failure to cope with measurement error and endogeneity produces biased estimates. As opposed to the earlier empirical literature, the social return of schooling is positive and significant, but no Lucas-type externalities are observed.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Oguz Esen & Ayla Ogus (ed.), 2006. "Proceedings of the International Conference on Human and Economic Resources," Proceedings of the IUE-SUNY Cortland Conference in Economics, Izmir University of Economics, number 2006, October.
  • This item is provided by Izmir University of Economics in its series Papers of the Annual IUE-SUNY Cortland Conference in Economics with number 200605.
    Handle: RePEc:izm:prcdng:200605
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    4. Psacharopoulos, George, 1993. "Returns to investment in education : a global update," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1067, The World Bank.
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    6. Boucekkine, Raouf & de la Croix, David & Licandro, Omar, 2000. "Vintage Human Capital, Demographic Trends and Endogenous Growth," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2000007, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    7. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
    8. Peter J. Klenow & Mark Bils, 2000. "Does Schooling Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1160-1183, December.
    9. Mulligan, Casey B & Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 2000. " Measuring Aggregate Human Capital," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 215-52, September.
    10. Bond, Stephen Roy & Hoeffler, Anke & Temple, Jonathan, 2001. "GMM Estimation of Empirical Growth Models," CEPR Discussion Papers 3048, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Islam, Nazrul, 1995. "Growth Empirics: A Panel Data Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1127-70, November.
    12. Daniel Cohen & Marcelo Soto, 2007. "Growth and human capital: good data, good results," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 51-76, March.
    13. 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.
    14. de la Fuente, Angel & Doménech, Rafael, 2000. "Human Capital In Growth Regressions: How Much Difference Does Data Quality Make?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2466, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    15. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker Than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116, February.
    16. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Introduction to "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings"," NBER Chapters, in: Schooling, Experience, and Earnings, pages 1-4 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Kyriacou, George A., 1991. "Level and Growth Effects of Human Capital: A Cross-Country Study of the Convergence Hypothesis," Working Papers 91-26, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
    18. Davidson, Russell & MacKinnon, James G., 1993. "Estimation and Inference in Econometrics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195060119.
    19. Benhabib, Jess & Spiegel, Mark M., 1994. "The role of human capital in economic development evidence from aggregate cross-country data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 143-173, October.
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    21. Temple, Jonathan R. W., 2001. "Generalizations that aren't? Evidence on education and growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 905-918, May.
    22. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
    23. Douglas Gollin, 2001. "Getting Income Shares Right," Department of Economics Working Papers 2001-11, Department of Economics, Williams College.
    24. Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem & Ryder, Harl E. & Weil, David N., 2000. "Mortality decline, human capital investment, and economic growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 1-23, June.
    25. Stephen Bond & Anke Hoeffler, 2001. "GMM Estimation of Empirical Growth Models," Economics Series Working Papers 2001-W21, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
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