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Migration and Human Capital Formation; Theory and Evidence From the U.S. High School Movement

  • Rodney Ramcharan

In 1910, 12 percent of American 14-17 year olds were enrolled in high school; by 1930, enrollment had increased to 50 percent; enrollment in Britain was 12 percent in 1950. This paper argues that by increasing the skill premium, the massive inflows of European unskilled immigrants at the turn of the twentieth century engendered America''s sharp rise in human capital investment. The increased enrollments raised the supply of schools, leading to continued schooling investment. Cross section evidence and a VAR analysis of the time series data support the hypothesized role of immigration in generating the high school movement.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 02/123.

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Length: 39
Date of creation: 01 Jul 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:02/123
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  1. Claudia Goldin & Hugh Rockoff, 1992. "Strategic Factors in Nineteenth Century American Economic History: A Volume to Honor Robert W. Fogel," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gold92-1, June.
  2. Goldin, Claudia, 1992. "Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195072709, March.
  3. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
  4. Goldin, Claudia, 1999. "Egalitarianism and the Returns to Education during the Great Transformation of American Education," Scholarly Articles 2623652, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. George J. Borjas, 1991. "Ethnic Capital and Intergenerational Mobility," NBER Working Papers 3788, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Acemoglu, Daron, 2002. "Directed Technical Change," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(4), pages 781-809, October.
  7. Landes, William M. & Solmon, Lewis C., 1972. "Compulsory Schooling Legislation: An Economic Analysis of Law and Social Change in the Nineteenth Century," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 32(01), pages 54-91, March.
  8. Eric A. Hanushek & Dongwook Kim, 1995. "Schooling, Labor Force Quality, and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 5399, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Robert H. Topel, 1997. "Factor Proportions and Relative Wages: The Supply-Side Determinants of Wage Inequality," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 55-74, Spring.
  10. Hendry, David F, 1988. "The Encompassing Implications of Feedback versus Feedforward Mechanisms in Econometrics," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 40(1), pages 132-49, March.
  11. Robert E. Gallman & John Joseph Wallis, 1992. "American Economic Growth and Standards of Living before the Civil War," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gall92-1, June.
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