IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Do Better Schools Lead to More Growth? Cognitive Skills, Economic Outcomes, and Causation

  • Eric A. Hanushek
  • Ludger Woessmann

We provide evidence that the robust association between cognitive skills and economic growth reflects a causal effect of cognitive skills and supports the economic benefits of effective school policy. We develop a new common metric that allows tracking student achievement across countries, over time, and along the within-country distribution. Extensive sensitivity analyses of cross-country growth regressions generate remarkably stable results across specifications, time periods, and country samples. In addressing causality, we find, first, significant growth effects of cognitive skills when instrumented by institutional features of school systems. Second, home-country cognitive-skill levels strongly affect the earnings of immigrants on the U.S. labor market in a difference-in-differences model that compares home-educated to U.S.-educated immigrants from the same country of origin. Third, countries that improved their cognitive skills over time experienced relative increases in their growth paths. From a policy perspective, the shares of basic literates and high performers have independent significant effects on growth that are complementary to each other, and the high-performer effect is larger in poorer countries.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2009/wp-cesifo-2009-01/cesifo1_wp2524.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2524.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2524
Contact details of provider: Postal: Poschingerstrasse 5, 81679 Munich
Phone: +49 (89) 9224-0
Fax: +49 (89) 985369
Web page: http://www.cesifo.de
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2008. "Trends in U.S. Wage Inequality: Revising the Revisionists," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 300-323, May.
  2. 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.
  3. Ludger Wößmann, 2000. "Schooling Resources, Educational Institutions, and Student Performance: The International Evidence," Kiel Working Papers 983, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  4. Eric A. Hanushek & Lei Zhang, 2006. "Quality-Consistent Estimates of International Returns to Skill," NBER Working Papers 12664, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Antonio Ciccone & Elias Papaioannou, 2005. "Human capital, the structure of production and growth," Economics Working Papers 902, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  6. Edward L. Glaeser & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Do Institutions Cause Growth?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 271-303, 09.
  7. Jong-Wha Lee & Robert J. Barro, 1997. "Schooling Quality in a Cross Section of Countries," NBER Working Papers 6198, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Murnane, Richard J & Willett, John B & Levy, Frank, 1995. "The Growing Importance of Cognitive Skills in Wage Determination," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(2), pages 251-66, May.
  9. Benhabib, Jess & Spiegel, Mark M., 2005. "Human Capital and Technology Diffusion," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 13, pages 935-966 Elsevier.
  10. Casey B. Mulligan, 1999. "Galton versus the Human Capital Approach to Inheritance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S184-S224, December.
  11. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number minc74-1, December.
  12. Dennis D. Kimko & Eric A. Hanushek, 2000. "Schooling, Labor-Force Quality, and the Growth of Nations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1184-1208, December.
  13. Flavio Cunha & James Heckman, 2007. "The Technology of Skill Formation," NBER Working Papers 12840, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Gernot Doppelhofer & Ronald I. Miller & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2000. "Determinants of Long-Term Growth: A Bayesian Averaging of Classical Estimates (Bace) Approach," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 266, OECD Publishing.
  15. John G. Riley, 2001. "Silver Signals: Twenty-Five Years of Screening and Signaling," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 432-478, June.
  16. Barro, R.J., 1989. "Economic Growth In A Cross Section Of Countries," RCER Working Papers 201, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  17. Ciccone, Antonio & Jarocinski, Marek, 2007. "Determinants of Economic Growth: Will Data Tell?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6544, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Topel, Robert, 1999. "Labor markets and economic growth," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 44, pages 2943-2984 Elsevier.
  19. Lutz Hendricks, 2002. "How Important Is Human Capital for Development? Evidence from Immigrant Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 198-219, March.
  20. Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2008. "The Anatomy of Start-Stop Growth," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 582-587, August.
  21. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," NBER Working Papers 12006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Fuller, Wayne A, 1977. "Some Properties of a Modification of the Limited Information Estimator," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(4), pages 939-53, May.
  23. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2008. "The Role of Cognitive Skills in Economic Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(3), pages 607-68, September.
  24. Daniel Cohen & Marcelo Soto, 2001. "Growth and Human Capital: Good Data, Good Results," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 179, OECD Publishing.
  25. Todd Schoellman, 2012. "Education Quality and Development Accounting," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(1), pages 388-417.
  26. Hanushek, Eric A. & Woessmann, Ludger, 2011. "Sample selectivity and the validity of international student achievement tests in economic research," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 110(2), pages 79-82, February.
  27. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 1993. "International Comparisons of Educational Attainment," NBER Working Papers 4349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2011. "How much do educational outcomes matter in OECD countries?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 26(67), pages 427-491, 07.
  29. Hanushek, Eric A. & Wößmann, Ludger, 2008. "The role of cognitive skills in economic development," Munich Reprints in Economics 20454, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  30. Nicoletti, Giuseppe & Scarpetta, Stefano, 2003. "Regulation, productivity, and growth : OECD evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2944, The World Bank.
  31. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2006. "The Polarization of the U.S. Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 11986, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. Robert J. Barro, 2001. "Human Capital and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 12-17, May.
  33. Vandenbussche, Jérôme & Aghion, Philippe & Meghir, Costas, 2006. "Growth, distance to frontier and composition of human capital," Scholarly Articles 12490648, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  34. Federico Cingano & Marco Leonardi & Julian Messina & Giovanni Pica, 2009. "The Effect of Employment Protection Legislation and Financial Market Imperfections on Investment: Evidence from a Firm-Level Panel of EU countries," CSEF Working Papers 227, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  35. Paul Romer, 1989. "Endogenous Technological Change," NBER Working Papers 3210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  36. Graham Wagner, 1998. "Universal Service Obligations in a Competitive Telecommunications Environment, Committee on Information, Computer and Communications Policy (ICCP) Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Developmen," Prometheus, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(1), pages 101-104.
  37. Welch, F, 1970. "Education in Production," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(1), pages 35-59, Jan.-Feb..
  38. Ricardo Hausmann & Lant Pritchett & Dani Rodrik, 2005. "Growth Accelerations," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 303-329, December.
  39. Melissa Osborne & Herbert Gintis & Samuel Bowles, 2001. "The Determinants of Earnings: A Behavioral Approach," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1137-1176, December.
  40. Hanousek, Jan & Hajkova, Dana & Filer, Randall K., 2008. "A rise by any other name? Sensitivity of growth regressions to data source," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 1188-1206, September.
  41. Ludger Woessmann, 2007. "Fundamental Determinants of School Efficiency and Equity: German States as a Microcosm for OECD Countries," CESifo Working Paper Series 1981, CESifo Group Munich.
  42. Robert J. Barro & Jose F. Ursua, 2008. "Macroeconomic Crises since 1870," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 39(1 (Spring), pages 255-350.
  43. James J. Heckman & Lance J. Lochner & Petra E. Todd, 2008. "Earnings Functions and Rates of Return," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20082, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
  44. Martin R. West & Ludger Woessmann, 2008. "“Every Catholic Child in a Catholic School”: Historical Resistance to State Schooling, Contemporary Private Competition, and Student Achievement across Countries," CESifo Working Paper Series 2332, CESifo Group Munich.
  45. Jeffrey Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Progress of Global Integration," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1733, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  46. Hanushek, Eric A. & Woessmann, Ludger, 2012. "Schooling, educational achievement, and the Latin American growth puzzle," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 497-512.
  47. Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1992. "A Sensitivity Analysis of Cross-Country Growth Regressions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 942-63, September.
  48. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman & Lance Lochner & Dimitriy V. Masterov, 2005. "Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation," NBER Working Papers 11331, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  49. Bishop, John, 2006. "Drinking from the Fountain of Knowledge: Student Incentive to Study and Learn - Externalities, Information Problems and Peer Pressure," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  50. Eric A. Hanushek & Lei Zhang, 2009. "Quality-Consistent Estimates of International Schooling and Skill Gradients," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(2), pages 107-143.
  51. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
  52. Gundlach, Erich & Wößmann, Ludger & Gmelin, Jens, 2001. "The decline of schooling productivity in OECD countries," Munich Reprints in Economics 20451, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  53. Spence, A Michael, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-74, August.
  54. Marcelo J. Moreira, 2003. "A Conditional Likelihood Ratio Test for Structural Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(4), pages 1027-1048, 07.
  55. Hanushek, Eric A. & Wößmann, Ludger, 2012. "Schooling, educational achievement, and the Latin American growth puzzle," Munich Reprints in Economics 20399, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  56. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1990. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  57. Erich Gundlach & Ludger Wößmann & Jens Gmelin, 1999. "The Decline of Schooling Productivity in OECD Countries," Kiel Working Papers 926, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  58. Pritchett, Lant, 2006. "Does Learning to Add up Add up? The Returns to Schooling in Aggregate Data," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  59. Richard J. Murnane & John B. Willett & Yves Duhaldeborde & John H. Tyler, 2000. "How important are the cognitive skills of teenagers in predicting subsequent earnings?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(4), pages 547-568.
  60. Andrew Weiss, 1995. "Human Capital vs. Signalling Explanations of Wages," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 133-154, Fall.
  61. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  62. West, Martin R. & Wößmann, Ludger, 2010. "\"Every catholic child in a catholic school\": Historical resistance to state schooling, contemporary private competition and student achievement across countries," Munich Reprints in Economics 19692, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  63. Hanushek, Eric A. & Wößmann, Ludger, 2011. "Sample selectivity and the validity of international student achievement tests in economic research," Munich Reprints in Economics 20401, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  64. Nuxoll, Daniel A, 1994. "Differences in Relative Prices and International Differences in Growth Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1423-36, December.
  65. Katz, Lawrence F. & Autor, David H., 1999. "Changes in the wage structure and earnings inequality," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1463-1555 Elsevier.
  66. Wößmann, Ludger, 2003. "Schooling resources, educational institutions and student performance: The international evidence," Munich Reprints in Economics 19661, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  67. Paul Atherton & Simon Appleton & Michael Bleaney, 2011. "Growth regressions and data revisions in Penn World Tables," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 38(3), pages 301-312, July.
  68. McCleary, Rachel & Barro, Robert, 2003. "Religion and Economic Growth across Countries," Scholarly Articles 3708464, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  69. Peter Dolton & Oscar D. Marcenaro‐Gutierrez, 2011. "If you pay peanuts do you get monkeys? A cross‐country analysis of teacher pay and pupil performance," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 26(65), pages 5-55, January.
  70. Hanushek, Eric A. & Wößmann, Ludger, 2011. "How much do educational outcomes matter in OECD countries?," Munich Reprints in Economics 20416, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  71. Stock, James H & Wright, Jonathan H & Yogo, Motohiro, 2002. "A Survey of Weak Instruments and Weak Identification in Generalized Method of Moments," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(4), pages 518-29, October.
  72. 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.
  73. Peter J. Klenow & Mark Bils, 2000. "Does Schooling Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1160-1183, December.
  74. Amparo Castello & Rafael Domenech, 2002. "Human Capital Inequality and Economic Growth: Some New Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(478), pages C187-C200, March.
  75. Andrews, Donald W.K. & Moreira, Marcelo J. & Stock, James H., 2007. "Performance of conditional Wald tests in IV regression with weak instruments," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 139(1), pages 116-132, July.
  76. Jinyong Hahn & Jerry Hausman & Guido Kuersteiner, 2004. "Estimation with weak instruments: Accuracy of higher-order bias and MSE approximations," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 7(1), pages 272-306, 06.
  77. Hanushek, Eric A., 2002. "Publicly provided education," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 30, pages 2045-2141 Elsevier.
  78. Coulombe Serge & Tremblay Jean-François, 2006. "Literacy and Growth," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(2), pages 1-34, August.
  79. Jérôme Vandenbussche & Philippe Aghion & Costas Meghir, 2006. "Growth, distance to frontier and composition of human capital," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 97-127, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2524. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Julio Saavedra)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.