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Does Schooling Cause Structural Transformation?

Author

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  • Porzio, T.
  • Santangelo, G.

Abstract

We study how the global schooling increase during the 20th century affected structural transformation by changing the supply of agricultural labor. We develop an analytical model of frictional labor reallocation out of agriculture to infer changes in birth-cohort characteristics from observed data on agricultural employment. Bringing the model to microdata from 52 countries, we find that the increase in schooling was accompanied by a large shift of the labor force’s comparative advantage away from agriculture. We bring empirical evidence to suggest this relationship was causal. With fixed prices, the resulting decrease in the supply of agricultural workers can account for almost half of the observed reallocation out of agriculture. However, in general equilibrium, the net effect is ambiguous.

Suggested Citation

  • Porzio, T. & Santangelo, G., 2019. "Does Schooling Cause Structural Transformation?," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1925, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:1925
    Note: gs578
    as

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    File URL: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/research-files/repec/cam/pdf/cwpe1925.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Adukia, Anjali & Asher, Samuel & Novosad, Paul, 2017. "Educational Investment Responses to Economic Opportunity: Evidence from Indian Road Construction," MPRA Paper 80194, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Alwyn Young, 2013. "Inequality, the Urban-Rural Gap, and Migration," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(4), pages 1727-1785.
    3. Comin, Diego & Lashkari, Danial & Mestieri, Martí, 2015. "Structural Change with Long-run Income and Price Effects," CEPR Discussion Papers 10846, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Esther Duflo, 2001. "Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of School Construction in Indonesia: Evidence from an Unusual Policy Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 795-813, September.
    5. Robert J. Barro, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-443.
    6. Hamory Hicks, Joan & Kleemans, Marieke & Li, Nicholas & Miguel, Edward, 2017. "Reevaluating Agricultural Productivity Gaps with Longitudinal Microdata," 2017 Annual Meeting, July 30-August 1, Chicago, Illinois 258015, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    7. Kaivan Munshi & Mark Rosenzweig, 2016. "Networks and Misallocation: Insurance, Migration, and the Rural-Urban Wage Gap," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(1), pages 46-98, January.
    8. repec:hoo:wpaper:e-92-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Jorge Alvarez, 2017. "The Agricultural Wage Gap: Evidence from Brazilian Micro-data," 2017 Meeting Papers 825, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    10. Matsuyama, Kiminori, 1992. "Agricultural productivity, comparative advantage, and economic growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 317-334, December.
    11. Melanie Morten, 2016. "Temporary Migration and Endogenous Risk Sharing in Village India," NBER Working Papers 22159, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Development; Education; Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Force Demographics; Schooling; Skill Biased; Labor Mobility; Cross Country Development; Structural Transformation; Agriculture;

    JEL classification:

    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • Q11 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Aggregate Supply and Demand Analysis; Prices

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