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The Kuznets Curve of Education: A Global Perspective on Education Inequalities

Listed author(s):
  • Christian Morrisson
  • Fabrice Murtin

This paper describes global trends in average educational attainment and in education inequality since 1870, improving the database released by Morrisson-Murtin (2009). Inequality in years of schooling is found to be rapidly decreasing, a direct consequence of the decline in illiteracy. Then, we turn to human capital inequality, and focus, among several other alternatives, on a Mincerian production function of human capital that accounts for diminishing returns to schooling. Within countries, we find evidence of an inverted U-shape curve for human capital inequality, namely a Kuznets curve of education. At the world level, human capital inequality has followed a similar pattern, first increasing from 1870 to 1970, then decreasing.

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File URL: http://cee.lse.ac.uk/ceedps/ceedp116.pdf
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Paper provided by Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE in its series CEE Discussion Papers with number 0116.

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Date of creation: Jun 2010
Handle: RePEc:cep:ceedps:0116
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cee.lse.ac.uk/publications.htm

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  1. Fabrice Murtin & Romain Wacziarg, 2014. "The democratic transition," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 141-181, June.
  2. Christian Morrisson & Fabrice Murtin, 2009. "The Century of Education," CEE Discussion Papers 0109, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  3. 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.
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  5. DE LA CROIX, David & DOEPKE, Matthias, 2001. "Inequality and Growth : Why Differential Fertility Matters," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2001008, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  6. Murtin, Fabrice & Viarengo, Martina, 2009. "American Education in the Age of Mass Migrations 1870-1930," IZA Discussion Papers 3964, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Bourguignon, F. & Verdier, T., 1997. "Oligarchy, Democracy, Inequality and Growth," DELTA Working Papers 97-10, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  8. Thomas, Vinod & Wang, Yan & Fan, Xibo, 2001. "Measuring education inequality - Gini coefficients of education," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2525, The World Bank.
  9. James J. Heckman & Lance J. Lochner & Petra E. Todd, 2005. "Earnings Functions, Rates of Return and Treatment Effects: The Mincer Equation and Beyond," NBER Working Papers 11544, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Esther Duflo, 2007. "The Economic Lives of the Poor," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 141-168, Winter.
  11. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-437.
  12. Michael Sattinger (ed.), 2001. "Income Distribution," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, volume 0, number 2018.
  13. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2004. "From Physical to Human Capital Accumulation: Inequality and the Process of Development," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(4), pages 1001-1026.
  14. Psacharopoulos, George & Patrinos, Harry Anthony, 2002. "Returns to investment in education : a further update," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2881, The World Bank.
  15. Stephen Machin & John Van Reenen, 1998. "Technology and changes in skill structure: evidence from seven OECD countries," IFS Working Papers W98/04, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  16. Jean-Claude Berthelemy, 2006. "To What Extent are African Education Policies Pro-poor?," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00305508, HAL.
  17. Amparo Castello & Rafael Domenech, 2002. "Human Capital Inequality and Economic Growth: Some New Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(478), pages 187-200, March.
  18. Fabrice Murtin & Martina Viarengo, 2008. "The convergence of compulsory schooling in Western Europe: 1950-2000," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 23311, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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