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Why Does Educational Attainment Differ Across U.S. States?

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  • Lutz Hendricks

Abstract

The fraction of persons holding a college degree differs nearly two-fold across U.S. states. This paper documents data related to state educational attainment differences and explores possible explanations. It shows that highly educated states employ skillbiased technologies, specialize in skill-intensive industries, but do not pay lower skill premia than do less educated states. Moreover, measures of urbanization and population density are positively related to educational attainment. Theories based on agglomeration economies offer natural explanations for these observations.

Suggested Citation

  • Lutz Hendricks, 2004. "Why Does Educational Attainment Differ Across U.S. States?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1335, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1335
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp1335.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Linnea Polgreen & Pedro Silos, 2008. "Capital-Skill Complementarity and Inequality: A Sensitivity Analysis," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(2), pages 302-313, April.
    2. Dincer, Oguzhan C., 2011. "Trust and schooling in the United States," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 1097-1102, October.
    3. Norman Baldwin & Stephen Borrelli, 2008. "Education and economic growth in the United States: cross-national applications for an intra-national path analysis," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 41(3), pages 183-204, September.
    4. Aubry, Amandine & Burzyński, Michał & Docquier, Frédéric, 2016. "The welfare impact of global migration in OECD countries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 1-21.
    5. Ratna, Nazmun N. & Quentin Grafton, R. & Kompas, Tom, 2009. "Is diversity bad for economic growth?: Evidence from state-level data in the US," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 859-870, December.
    6. Nazmun N. Ratna & Quentin Grafton & Ian A. MacDonald, 2012. "Does Multiculturalism Pay? Empirical Evidence from the United States and Canada," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 31(4), pages 401-417, December.
    7. Roc Armenter & Francesc Ortega, 2010. "Credible Redistributive Policies and Migration across US States," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(2), pages 403-423, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    education; agglomeration;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

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