IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/pri/indrel/265.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Public Schools in the United States

Author

Listed:
  • David Card

    (Princeton University)

  • Alan B. Krueger

    (Princeton University)

Abstract

This paper estimates the effects of school quality -- measured by the pupil-teacher ratio, the average term length, and the relative pay of teachers -- on the rate of return to education for men born between 1920 and 1949. Using earnings data from the 1980 Census, we find that men who were educated in states with higher quality schools have a higher return to additional years of schooling, holding constant their current state of residence, their state of birth, the average return to education in the region where they currently reside, and other factors. A decrease in the pupil-teacher ratio from 30 to 25, for example, is associated with a 0.4 percentage point increase in the rate of return to education. The estimated relationship between the return to education and measures of school quality is similar for blacks and whites. Since improvements in school quality for black students were mainly driven by political and judicial pressures, we argue that the evidence for blacks reinforces a causal interpretation of the link between school quality and earnings. We also find that returns to schooling are higher for students educated in states with a higher fraction of female teachers, and in states with higher average teacher education. Holding constant school quality measures, however, we find no evidence that parental income or education affects state-level rates of return.

Suggested Citation

  • David Card & Alan B. Krueger, 1990. "Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Public Schools in the United States," Working Papers 645, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  • Handle: RePEc:pri:indrel:265
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://dataspace.princeton.edu/jspui/bitstream/88435/dsp01js956f81r/1/265.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    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. Smith, James P & Welch, Finis R, 1989. "Black Economic Progress after Myrdal," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(2), pages 519-564, June.
    3. 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)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    education; school quality;

    JEL classification:

    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General

    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:pri:indrel:265. 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: (Bobray Bordelon). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/irprius.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 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.

    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.