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Dynamic Skill Accumulation,Comparative Advantages,Compulsory Schooling and Earnings

  • Christian Belzil

    ()

    (CREST)

  • Jörgen Hansen

    (Concordia University, CIRANO, CIREQ and IZA)

  • Xingfei Liu

    (Concordia University)

We show that a calibrated dynamic skill accumulation model allowing for comparative advantages, can explain the weak (or negative) effects of schooling on productivity that have been recently reported (i) in the micro literature on compulsory schooling, ii) in the micro literature on estimating the distribution of ex-post returns to schooling, and (iii) in the macro literature on education and growth. The fraction of the population more efficient at producing skills in the market than in school is a pivotal quantity that determines the sign (and magnitude) of different parameters of interest. Our model reveals an interesting paradox; as low-skill jobs become more skill-enhancing (ceteris paribus), IV estimates of compulsory schooling become increasingly negative, and ex-post returns to schooling (inferred from a Roy model specification of the earnings equation) become negative for an increasing fraction of the population. This arises even if each possible input to skill production has a strictly positive effect. Finally, our model provides a foundation for the weak (or negative) effect education on growth measured in the empirical literature

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Paper provided by Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique in its series Working Papers with number 2012-01.

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Length: 38
Date of creation: Jan 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:crs:wpaper:2012-01
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  1. Devereux, Paul J & Hart, Robert A, 2008. "Forced to be Rich? Returns to Compulsory Schooling in Britain," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers 2008-02, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
  2. Sunde, Uwe & Vischer, Thomas, 2011. "Human Capital and Growth: Specification Matters," IZA Discussion Papers 5991, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Belzil, Christian & Hansen, Jörgen, 2002. "A Structure Analysis of the Correlated Random Coefficient Wage Regression Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 3601, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. James J. Heckman, 2010. "Building Bridges Between Structural and Program Evaluation Approaches to Evaluating Policy," NBER Working Papers 16110, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  6. Stephen V. Cameron & Christopher Taber, 2004. "Estimation of Educational Borrowing Constraints Using Returns to Schooling," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(1), pages 132-182, February.
  7. Christian Belzil & Jörgen Hansen, 2002. "Unobserved Ability and the Return to Schooling," CIRANO Working Papers 2002s-19, CIRANO.
  8. Carneiro, Pedro & Heckman, James J., 2002. "The Evidence on Credit Constraints in Post-Secondary Schooling," IZA Discussion Papers 518, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J. & Navarro, Salvador, 2004. "Separating Uncertainty from Heterogeneity in Life Cycle Earnings," IZA Discussion Papers 1437, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman & Susanne M. Schennach, 2010. "Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(3), pages 883-931, 05.
  11. Christian Belzil & J�rgen Hansen, 2002. "Unobserved Ability and the Return to Schooling," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 2075-2091, September.
  12. Pedro Carneiro & Karsten T. Hansen & James J. Heckman, 2003. "Estimating Distributions of Treatment Effects with an Application to the Returns to Schooling and Measurement of the Effects of Uncertainty on College," NBER Working Papers 9546, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Jörn-Steffen Pischke & Till von Wachter, 2006. "Zero Returns to Compulsory Schooling in Germany: Evidence and Interpretation," CEE Discussion Papers 0054, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  14. James J. Heckman & John Eric Humphries & Sergio Urzua & Gregory Veramendi, 2010. "The effects of educational choices on labor market, health, and social outcomes," Working Papers 2011-002, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  15. Christian Belzil, 2006. "The Return to Schooling in Structural Dynamic Models: A Survey," Post-Print halshs-00142538, HAL.
  16. Richard Bellman, 1957. "On a Dynamic Programming Approach to the Caterer Problem--I," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 3(3), pages 270-278, April.
  17. Christian Belzil, 2006. "The Return to Schooling in Structural Dynamic Models: A Survey," Working Papers 0609, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure.
  18. Julien Grenet, 2013. "Is Extending Compulsory Schooling Alone Enough to Raise Earnings? Evidence from French and British Compulsory Schooling Laws," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 115(1), pages 176-210, 01.
  19. Robert J. Willis & Sherwin Rosen, 1978. "Education and Self-Selection," NBER Working Papers 0249, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  21. Yoram Ben-Porath, 1967. "The Production of Human Capital and the Life Cycle of Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 352.
  22. Christian Belzil, 2007. "The Return to Schooling in Structural Dynamic Models: A Survey," Post-Print halshs-00201230, HAL.
  23. Edward Vytlacil, 2002. "Independence, Monotonicity, and Latent Index Models: An Equivalence Result," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(1), pages 331-341, January.
  24. Keane, Michael P & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1997. "The Career Decisions of Young Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(3), pages 473-522, June.
  25. Keane, Michael P., 2010. "Structural vs. atheoretic approaches to econometrics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 156(1), pages 3-20, May.
  26. Imbens, Guido W & Angrist, Joshua D, 1994. "Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 467-75, March.
  27. 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 1278-86, December.
  28. James Heckman, 1997. "Instrumental Variables: A Study of Implicit Behavioral Assumptions Used in Making Program Evaluations," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(3), pages 441-462.
  29. Christian Belzil & Jörgen Hansen, 2007. "A Structural Analysis of the Correlated Random Coefficient Wage Regression Model," Post-Print halshs-00201350, HAL.
  30. Belzil, Christian & Hansen, Jörgen, 2010. "The Distinction between Dictatorial and Incentive Policy Interventions and its Implication for IV Estimation," IZA Discussion Papers 4835, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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