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Vive la Révolution! Long Term Returns of 1968 to the Angry Students

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  • Maurin, Eric
  • McNally, Sandra

Abstract

The famous events of May 1968, starting with student riots, threw France into a state of turmoil. The period of ‘revolution’ coincided with the time in which important examinations are undertaken. As a result, normal examination procedures were abandoned and the pass-rate for various qualifications increased enormously in that one year. These events were particularly important for students at an early (and highly selective) phase of higher education. They are shown to have pursued further years of education because thresholds were lowered at critical stages (i.e. at entry to university and in the early years of university). These historic events provide a natural experiment to analyse the returns to years of higher education for the affected generation and to consider consequences for their children. Thus, we can contribute to the debate on two very controversial questions in the economics of education: What is the true causal relationship between educational attainment and its labour market value? Is there a causal relationship between the education of parents and that of their children? Much of the existing literature considers the effect of interventions altering an individual’s years of compulsory schooling on the margin rather than an intervention which occurs at a later stage. Our results are based on the latter and show a higher return for an additional year of education than would be suggested by many of the former studies. This may reflect higher returns from an additional year of university education rather than an additional year of compulsory education. Furthermore, the treatment group considered here is on the margin of the higher education system. This study suggests that expanding the university system to accommodate such people can yield very high private returns. There is also evidence of a strong causal relationship between obtaining an additional year of higher education and the educational outcomes of children. Hence our study suggests very positive effects of the ‘1968 events’ for affected cohorts and is of contemporary relevance given the current debate in many countries about widening access to higher education.

Suggested Citation

  • Maurin, Eric & McNally, Sandra, 2005. "Vive la Révolution! Long Term Returns of 1968 to the Angry Students," CEPR Discussion Papers 4940, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4940
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Blanden, Jo & Goodman, Alissa & Gregg, Paul & Machin, Stephen, 2002. "Changes in intergenerational mobility in Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19507, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Harmon, Colm & Walker, Ian, 1995. "Estimates of the Economic Return to Schooling for the United Kingdom," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1278-1286, December.
    3. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2005. "Why the Apple Doesn't Fall Far: Understanding Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 437-449, March.
    4. Arnaud Chevalier, 2004. "Parental Education and Childs Education: A Natural Experiment," CEE Discussion Papers 0040, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
    5. Lorraine Dearden, 1999. "Qualifications and earnings in Britain: how reliable are conventional OLS estimates of the returns to education?," IFS Working Papers W99/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    6. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Keueger, 1991. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 979-1014.
    7. Card, David, 2001. "Estimating the Return to Schooling: Progress on Some Persistent Econometric Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(5), pages 1127-1160, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Arnaud Chevalier & Colm Harmon & Vincent O’ Sullivan & Ian Walker, 2013. "The impact of parental income and education on the schooling of their children," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 2(1), pages 1-22, December.
    2. Marc Piopiunik, 2011. "Microeconometric Analyses of Education Production in Germany," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 40.
    3. Holmlund, Helena, 2007. "A Researcher's Guide to the Swedish Compulsory School Reform," Working Paper Series 9/2007, Stockholm University, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
    4. Holmlund, Helena & Lindahl, Mikael & Plug, Erik, 2010. "The Causal Eff ect of Parent’s Schooling on Children’s Schooling," Working Paper Series, Center for Labor Studies 2010:8, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    5. Luca Stella, 2013. "Intergenerational transmission of human capital in Europe: evidence from SHARE," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 2(1), pages 1-24, December.
    6. Richard Mussa, 2015. "Youth wage employment and parental education in Malawi," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(4), pages 526-537, July.
    7. Helena Holmlund & Mikael Lindahl & Erik Plug, 2011. "The Causal Effect of Parents' Schooling on Children's Schooling: A Comparison of Estimation Methods," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(3), pages 615-651, September.
    8. Amin, Vikesh & Lundborg, Petter & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2015. "The intergenerational transmission of schooling: Are mothers really less important than fathers?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 100-117.
    9. Verdugo, Gregory, 2014. "The great compression of the French wage structure, 1969–2008," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 131-144.
    10. Suhonen, Tuomo & Karhunen, Hannu, 2017. "The intergenerational effects of parental higher education: Evidence from changes in university accessibility," Working Papers 100, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
    11. Lundborg, Petter & Nordin, Martin & Rooth, Dan Olof, 2012. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital. The Role of Skills and Health," Working Papers 2012:22, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    12. Marc Piopiunik, 2011. "Intergenerational Transmission of Education and Mediating Channels: Evidence from Compulsory Schooling Reforms in Germany," ifo Working Paper Series 107, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    13. JAMES, Jonathan & VUJIC, Suncica, 2016. "From high school to the high chair: Education and fertility timing," Working Papers 2016005, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
    14. Stéphane Mechoulan & François-Charles Wolff, 2015. "Intra-household allocation of family resources and birth order: evidence from France using siblings data," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(4), pages 937-964, October.
    15. repec:bla:econom:v:84:y:2017:i:336:p:748-778 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Monique de Haan, 2011. "The Effect of Parents' Schooling on Child's Schooling: A Nonparametric Bounds Analysis," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(4), pages 859-892.
    17. Arnaud Chevalier & Colm Harmon & Vincent O'Sullivan & Ian Walker, 2011. "The Impact of Parental Earnings and Education on the Schooling of Children," Working Papers 201112, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    18. Enkelejda Havari & Marco Savegnago, 2013. "The causal effect of parents� schooling on children�s schooling in Europe. A new IV approach," Working Papers 2013:30, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".

    More about this item

    Keywords

    higher education; intergenerational; wages;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General

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