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Human capital agglomeration and social returns to education in Colombia

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Abstract

We provide evidence of private returns to education and of externalities which jointly render social returns to education in Colombia. The spillover is generated by the share of college-educated workers within the working-age population. Thus, the higher this share in the cities, the higher the wages. The size of the externality is about 1.13; that is, an increase of one percentage point in the share will increase wages by 1.13%. For mid-to-high and high educated workers the externality is about 1.07 and 1.3 while for low educated workers it is 0.92,. The public policy program instituted by the agency in charge of promoting undergraduate and graduate education has contributed to increase wages all over the country but mainly in cities different from Bogotá. A positive correlation between the size of cities and human capital agglomeration is also observed; as a result, the size of cities also has predictive power on the externality.

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  • Luis Eduardo Arango & Gabriela Bonilla, 2015. "Human capital agglomeration and social returns to education in Colombia," Borradores de Economia 883, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdr:borrec:883
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    1. Dee, Thomas S., 2004. "Are there civic returns to education?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1697-1720, August.
    2. Antonio Ciccone & Giovanni Peri, 2006. "Identifying Human-Capital Externalities: Theory with Applications," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(2), pages 381-412.
    3. Lawrence F. Katz & Kevin M. Murphy, 1992. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963–1987: Supply and Demand Factors," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 35-78.
    4. Camilo Alberto Cárdenas Hurtado & María Alejandra Hernández Montes & Jhon Edwar Torres Gorron, 2015. "A Statistical Analysis of Heterogeneity on Labour Markets and Unemployment Rates in Colombia," Revista Desarrollo y Sociedad, Universidad de los Andes - CEDE, August.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Roback, Jennifer, 1982. "Wages, Rents, and the Quality of Life," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1257-1278, December.
    8. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 1995. "An Introduction to the Wage Curve," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 153-167, Summer.
    9. Ana María Díaz, 2013. "The Employment Advantages of Skilled Urban Municipalities in Colombia," Revista ESPE - Ensayos sobre Política Económica, Banco de la Republica de Colombia, vol. 31(70), pages 316-366, July.
    10. 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.
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    Keywords

    Human capital agglomeration; social returns; private returns; externalities;

    JEL classification:

    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs

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