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Understanding Compulsory Schooling Legislation: A Formal Model and Implications for Empirical Analysis

Author

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  • Gradstein, Mark

    () (Ben Gurion University)

  • Justman, Moshe

    () (Ben Gurion University)

Abstract

We construct a simple model of compulsory schooling in which legislation and compliance are endogenously determined by individuals disciplined by social norms, optimizing their voting decisions and the school attendance of their children. The model provides a formal framework for interpreting empirical results on the effect of compulsory-schooling legislation (CSL) on enrollment. This sheds light on the use of CSL as an instrumental variable to identify the benefits of schooling, suggesting how the estimates it produces may be biased.

Suggested Citation

  • Gradstein, Mark & Justman, Moshe, 2009. "Understanding Compulsory Schooling Legislation: A Formal Model and Implications for Empirical Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 4420, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4420
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. 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.
    5. Edwards, Linda Nasif, 1978. "An Empirical Analysis of Compulsory Schooling Legislation, 1940-1960," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 203-222, April.
    6. Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2005. "The Relationship Between Education and Adult Mortality in the United States," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 189-221.
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    8. SandraE. Black & PaulJ. Devereux & KjellG. Salvanes, 2008. "Staying in the Classroom and out of the maternity ward? The effect of compulsory schooling laws on teenage births," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(530), pages 1025-1054, July.
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    11. Lleras-Muney, Adriana, 2002. "Were Compulsory Attendance and Child Labor Laws Effective? An Analysis from 1915 to 1939," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(2), pages 401-435, October.
    12. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. McHenry, Peter, 2013. "The relationship between schooling and migration: Evidence from compulsory schooling laws," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 24-40.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    compliance norms; compulsory schooling; education;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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