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The Quality vs. the Quantity of Schooling: What Drives Economic Growth?

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  • Theodore R. Breton

Abstract

This paper challenges Hanushek and Woessmann’s [2008] contention that the quality and not the quantity of schooling determines a nation’s rate of economic growth. I first show that their statistical analysis is flawed. I then show that when a nation’s average test scores and average schooling attainment are included in a national income model, both measures explain income differences, but schooling attainment has greater statistical significance. The high correlation between a nation’s average schooling attainment, cumulative investment in schooling, and average tests scores indicates that average schooling attainment implicitly measures the quality as well as the quantity of schooling.

Suggested Citation

  • Theodore R. Breton, 2011. "The Quality vs. the Quantity of Schooling: What Drives Economic Growth?," Documentos de Trabajo de Valor Público 11829, Universidad EAFIT.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000122:011829
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Eric Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2012. "Do better schools lead to more growth? Cognitive skills, economic outcomes, and causation," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 267-321, December.
    2. Francesco Caselli & James Feyrer, 2007. "The Marginal Product of Capital," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 122(2), pages 535-568.
    3. Caselli, Francesco, 2005. "Accounting for Cross-Country Income Differences," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 9, pages 679-741, Elsevier.
    4. 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.
    5. Theodore Breton, 2010. "Schooling and national income: how large are the externalities?," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(1), pages 67-92.
    6. Lee, Jong-Wha & Barro, Robert J, 2001. "Schooling Quality in a Cross-Section of Countries," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(272), pages 465-488, November.
    7. Ben S. Bernanke & Refet S. Gürkaynak, 2002. "Is Growth Exogenous? Taking Mankiw, Romer, and Weil Seriously," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2001, Volume 16, pages 11-72, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Daniel Cohen & Marcelo Soto, 2007. "Growth and human capital: good data, good results," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 51-76, March.
    9. Hai-Anh Dang & F. Halsey Rogers, 2008. "The Growing Phenomenon of Private Tutoring: Does It Deepen Human Capital, Widen Inequalities, or Waste Resources?," The World Bank Research Observer, World Bank, vol. 23(2), pages 161-200, April.
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    11. Jamison, Eliot A. & Jamison, Dean T. & Hanushek, Eric A., 2007. "The effects of education quality on income growth and mortality decline," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 771-788, December.
    12. Hanushek, Eric A., 2006. "Alternative school policies and the benefits of general cognitive skills," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 447-462, August.
    13. 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 607-668, September.
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    15. Heyneman, Stephen P., 2004. "International education quality," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 441-452, August.
    16. Theodore Breton, 2010. "Schooling and national income: how large are the externalities? Corrected estimates," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(4), pages 455-456.
    17. Jerik Hanushek & Dennis Kimko, 2006. "Schooling, Labor-force Quality, and the Growth of Nations," Voprosy obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow, National Research University Higher School of Economics, issue 1, pages 154-193.
    18. Paolo Mauro, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cognitive Skills; Human Capital; Education; Schooling; Economic Growth;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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