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The effect of education on cognitive ability

Author

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  • Torberg Falch

    () (Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology)

  • Sofia Sandgren

    () (Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology)

Abstract

We analyze whether the amount of schooling influences intelligence as measured by IQ tests. By use of a novel longitudinal dataset we are able to condition on early cognitive ability to account for selection into non-compulsory schooling when estimating the effect on cognitive ability at age 20. OLS estimates indicate that one year of schooling increases IQ by 2.8-3.5 points (about 0.2 standard deviations). When family income per family member and teacher evaluations of the individuals at age 10 are used as instruments for schooling and early cognitive ability, the return to schooling is estimated to 3.5-3.8 IQ points.

Suggested Citation

  • Torberg Falch & Sofia Sandgren, 2006. "The effect of education on cognitive ability," Working Paper Series 7306, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
  • Handle: RePEc:nst:samfok:7306
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel A. Kamhöfer & Hendrik Schmitz, 2013. "Analyzing Zero Returns to Education in Germany – Heterogeneous Eff ects and Skill Formation," Ruhr Economic Papers 0446, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    2. Nicole Schneeweis & Vegard Skirbekk & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2012. "Does schooling improve cognitive functioning at older ages?," Economics working papers 2012-11, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    3. Bingley, Paul & Martinello, Alessandro, 2017. "The Effects of Schooling on Wealth Accumulation Approaching Retirement," Working Papers 2017:9, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    4. repec:zbw:rwirep:0446 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Mohammad Niaz Asadullah, Nazmul Chaudhury, 2013. "Primary Schooling, Student Learning, and School Quality in Rural Bangladesh-Working Paper 349," Working Papers 349, Center for Global Development.
    6. Daniel A. Kamhöfer & Hendrik Schmitz, 2013. "Analyzing Zero Returns to Education in Germany: Heterogeneous Effects and Skill Formation," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 598, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    7. Anger, Silke & Heineck, Guido, 2010. "Do Smart Parents Raise Smart Children? The Intergenerational Transmission of Cognitive Abilities," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 1105-1132.
    8. repec:eee:labeco:v:47:y:2017:i:c:p:35-47 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Daniele, Vittorio, 2013. "Does the intelligence of populations determine the wealth of nations?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 27-37.
    10. Dahmann, Sarah C., 2017. "How does education improve cognitive skills? Instructional time versus timing of instruction," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 35-47.
    11. Bingley, Paul & Martinello, Alessandro, 2013. "Mental retirement and schooling," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 292-298.
    12. Burhan, Nik Ahmad Sufian & Md. Yunus, Melor & Tovar, María Elena Labastida & Burhan, Nik Mohd Ghazi, 2016. "Why are cognitive abilities of children so different across countries? The link between major socioeconomic factors and PISA test scores," MPRA Paper 77239, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Nikolaev, Boris & McGee, Jennifer, 2016. "Relative Verbal Intelligence and Happiness," MPRA Paper 78564, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Nicole Schneeweis & Vegard Skirbekk & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2014. "Does Education Improve Cognitive Performance Four Decades After School Completion?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 51(2), pages 619-643, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cognitive ability; Education production; Return to schooling;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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