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Explaining the evolution of educational attainment in the U.S

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  • CASTRO, Rui
  • COEN-PIRANI, Daniele

Abstract

We study the evolution of educational attainment of the 1932–1972 cohorts using a calibrated model of investment in human capital with heterogeneous learning ability. The inter-cohort variation in schooling is driven by changes in skill prices, tuition, and education quality over time, and average learning ability across cohorts. A version of the model with static expectations is successful in accounting for the main patterns in the data. Rising skill prices for college explain the rapid increase in college graduation till the 1948 cohort. The measured decline in average learning ability contributes to explain the stagnation in college graduation between the 1948 and 1972 cohorts.

Suggested Citation

  • CASTRO, Rui & COEN-PIRANI, Daniele, 2014. "Explaining the evolution of educational attainment in the U.S," Cahiers de recherche 2014-08, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  • Handle: RePEc:mtl:montde:2014-08
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/1866/11053
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Joshua D. Angrist & Stacey H. Chen, 2011. "Schooling and the Vietnam-Era GI Bill: Evidence from the Draft Lottery," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 96-118, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ferreira, Pedro Cavalcanti & Delalibera, Bruno Ricardo, 2016. "Economic growth and complementarity between stages of human capital," FGV EPGE Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 779, EPGE Brazilian School of Economics and Finance - FGV EPGE (Brazil).
    2. Delalibera, Bruno Ricardo & Ferreira, Pedro Cavalcanti, 2019. "Early childhood education and economic growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 82-104.
    3. Keller, Elisa, 2014. "The slowdown in American educational attainment," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 252-270.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Educational attainment; human capital; skill prices; inequality; cohorts;

    JEL classification:

    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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