IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/5274.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Does Measured School Quality Really Matter? An Examination of the Earnings-Quality Relationship

Author

Listed:
  • James Heckman
  • Anne Layne-Farrar
  • Petra Todd

Abstract

This paper examines the economic and empirical foundations of the aggregate evidence on the effect of schooling quality on earnings. A common framework is presented which nests all previous studies as special cases. We discuss two crucial identifying assumptions and test them. The first assumption is the absence of region of birth - region of resident interactions in the return to schooling. This rules out patterns of migration on the basis of realized earnings in the destination state. Both parametric and nonparametric versions of this hypothesis are tested. Using 1970, 1980 and 1990 Census data, it is decisively rejected. A second assumption is that log earnings equations are linear - or nearly linear in schooling. This assumption is false. We find that estimated earnings-quality relationships are sensitive to specification of the earnings function. When false linearity assumptions are relaxed, the only effect of measured schooling quality is on the returns for college graduates. The evidence for an aggregate earnings-quality relationship is weak once false empirical restrictions are relaxed.

Suggested Citation

  • James Heckman & Anne Layne-Farrar & Petra Todd, 1995. "Does Measured School Quality Really Matter? An Examination of the Earnings-Quality Relationship," NBER Working Papers 5274, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5274
    Note: LS
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w5274.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. George E. Johnson & Frank P. Stafford, 1973. "Social Returns to Quantity and Quality of Schooling," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(2), pages 139-155.
    2. Hungerford, Thomas & Solon, Gary, 1987. "Sheepskin Effects in the Returns to Education," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(1), pages 175-177, February.
    3. Sherwin Rosen, 1983. "A Note on Aggregation of Skills and Labor Quality," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 18(3), pages 425-431.
    4. Hanushek, Eric A, 1986. "The Economics of Schooling: Production and Efficiency in Public Schools," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 1141-1177, September.
    5. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-838, May.
    6. James Heckman & Anne Layne-Farrar & Petra Todd, 1995. "The Schooling Quality-Earnings Relationship: Using Economic Theory to Interpret Functional Forms Consistent with the Evidence," NBER Working Papers 5288, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Behrman, Jere R & Birdsall, Nancy, 1983. "The Quality of Schooling: Quantity Alone is Misleading," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 928-946, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. James Heckman & Anne Layne-Farrar & Petra Todd, 1995. "The Schooling Quality-Earnings Relationship: Using Economic Theory to Interpret Functional Forms Consistent with the Evidence," NBER Working Papers 5288, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. David Card & Alan B. Krueger, 1996. "Labor Market Effects of School Quality: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 5450, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Daniel Münich & Jan Svejnar & Katherine Terrell, 2005. "Returns to Human Capital Under The Communist Wage Grid and During the Transition to a Market Economy," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(1), pages 100-123, February.
    4. David Card & Alan B. Krueger, 1996. "School Resources and Student Outcomes: An Overview of the Literature and New Evidence from North and South Carolina," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 31-50, Fall.
    5. Eric A. Hanushek & Dongwook Kim, 1995. "Schooling, Labor Force Quality, and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 5399, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Honggao Cao, 2005. "Self-Selection and Student Achievement," HEW 0501003, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Loeb, Susanna & Bound, John, 1996. "The Effect of Measured School Inputs on Academic Achievement: Evidence form the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s Birth Cohorts," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(4), pages 653-664, November.
    8. Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2010. "The Credibility Revolution in Empirical Economics: How Better Research Design Is Taking the Con out of Econometrics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(2), pages 3-30, Spring.
    9. Dustmann, Christian & Ku, Hyejin & Kwak, Do Won, 2018. "Why Are Single-Sex Schools Successful?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 79-99.
    10. Angel de la Fuente & Antonio Ciccone, 2003. "Human capital in a global and knowledge-based economy," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 562.03, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
    11. Neri, F., 2001. "Schooling Quality and Economic Growth," Economics Working Papers wp01-06, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
    12. Jong–Wha Lee & Robert J. Barro, 2001. "Schooling Quality in a Cross–Section of Countries," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(272), pages 465-488, November.
    13. Yukichi Mano & Eiji Yamamura, 2013. "Influence of a Wife's Working Status on Her Husband's Accumulation of Human Capital," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 27(4), pages 323-339, December.
    14. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1992. "Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Public Schools in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 1-40, February.
    15. Kevin Denny & Colm Harmon, 2001. "Testing for sheepskin effects in earnings equations: evidence for five countries," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(9), pages 635-637.
    16. Bedi, A.S. & Edwards, J.H.Y., 2001. "The Impact of School Quality on Earnings and Educational Returns," ISS Working Papers - General Series 338, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
    17. Belfield, C. R. & Fielding, A., 2001. "Measuring the relationship between resources and outcomes in higher education in the UK," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 589-602, December.
    18. Dopuch, Nicholas & Gupta, Mahendra, 1997. "Estimation of benchmark performance standards: An application to public school expenditures," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 141-161, July.
    19. Trostel, P.A., 2000. "Micro Evidence on Human Capital as the Engine of Growth," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 555, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    20. Pritchett, Lant, 1996. "Where has all the education gone?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1581, The World Bank.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5274. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.