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Schooling Supply and the Structure of Production: Evidence from US States 1950-1990

  • Antonio Ciccone
  • Giovanni Peri

We find that over the period 1950-1990, US states absorbed increases in the supply of schooling due to tighter compulsory schooling and child labor laws mostly through within-industry increases in the schooling intensity of production. Shifts in the industry composition towards more schooling-intensive industries played a less important role. To try and understand this finding theoretically, we consider a free trade model with two goods/industries, two skill types, and many regions that produce a fixed range of differentiated varieties of the same goods. We find that a calibrated version of the model can account for shifts in schooling supply being mostly absorbed through within-industry increases in the schooling intensity of production even if the elasticity of substitution between varieties is substantially higher than estimates in the literature.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17683.

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Date of creation: Dec 2011
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17683
Note: ITI LS
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  16. Ethan Lewis, 2011. "Immigration, Skill Mix, and Capital Skill Complementarity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(2), pages 1029-1069.
  17. Antonio Ciccone & Giovanni Peri, 2004. "Long-run substitutability between more and less educated workers: Evidence from U.S. States 1950-1990," Economics Working Papers 764, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  18. Lutz Hendricks, 2010. "Cross-country variation in educational attainment: structural change or within-industry skill upgrading?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 205-233, September.
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