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Testing the Internal Validity of Compulsory School Reforms as Instrument for Years of Schooling

  • Brunello, Giorgio

    ()

    (University of Padova)

  • Fort, Margherita

    ()

    (University of Bologna)

  • Weber, Guglielmo

    ()

    (University of Padova)

  • Weiss, Christoph T.

    ()

    (University of Padova)

In the large empirical literature that investigates the causal effects of education on outcomes such as health, wages and crime, it is customary to measure education with years of schooling, and to identify these effects using the exogenous variation provided by school reforms increasing compulsory education and minimum school leaving age. If these reforms are correlated to changes in school quality, and school quality is an omitted variable, this identification strategy may fail. We test whether this is the case by using the information provided by two distinct test scores on mathematics and reading and find that we cannot reject the internal validity of this popular identification strategy.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7533.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7533
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  1. M. Fort & N. Schneeweis & R. Winter-Ebmer, 2011. "More Schooling, More Children: Compulsory Schooling Reforms and Fertility in Europe," Working Papers wp787, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
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  10. Holmlund, Helena & Lindahl, Mikael & Plug, Erik, 2008. "The Causal Effect of Parent's Schooling on Children's Schooling: A Comparison of Estimation Methods," IZA Discussion Papers 3630, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  12. 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 465-88, November.
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  14. Murnane, Richard J & Willett, John B & Levy, Frank, 1995. "The Growing Importance of Cognitive Skills in Wage Determination," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(2), pages 251-66, May.
  15. Giorgio Brunello & Margherita Fort & Guglielmo Weber, 2009. "Changes in Compulsory Schooling, Education and the Distribution of Wages in Europe," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(536), pages 516-539, 03.
  16. Sandra E. Black & Paul Devereux & Kjell Salvanes, 2004. "Why the apple doesn't fall far: understanding intergenerational transmission of human capital," Working Paper Series 2004-12, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
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  25. Garrouste, Christelle, 2010. "100 years of educational reforms in Europe: a contextual database," MPRA Paper 31853, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  26. Giorgio Brunello & Daniele Fabbri & Margherita Fort, 2013. "The Causal Effect of Education on Body Mass: Evidence from Europe," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 195 - 223.
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