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Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?

  • Joshua Angrist
  • Alan Krueger

The authors establish that season of birth is related to educational attainment because of school start age policy and compulsory school attendance laws. Individuals born in the beginning of the year start school at an older age, and can therefore drop out after completing less schooling than individuals born near the end of the year. Roughly 25 percent of potential dropouts remain in school because of compulsory schooling laws. They estimate the impact of compulsory schooling on earnings by using quarter of birth as an instrument for education. The instrumental valuables estimate of the return to education is close to the ordinary least squares estimate, suggesting that there is little bias in conventional estimates. Copyright 1991, the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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File URL: http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp013197xm05q
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Paper provided by Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section. in its series Working Papers with number 653.

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Date of creation: Jun 1990
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Handle: RePEc:pri:indrel:dsp013197xm05q
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  1. Willis, Robert J., 1987. "Wage determinants: A survey and reinterpretation of human capital earnings functions," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 10, pages 525-602 Elsevier.
  2. Spence, A Michael, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-74, August.
  3. Griliches, Zvi, 1977. "Estimating the Returns to Schooling: Some Econometric Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(1), pages 1-22, January.
  4. Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Alan J. Marcus, 1982. "Minimum Wages and Teenagers' Enrollment-Employment Outcomes: A Multinomial Logit Model," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 17(1), pages 39-58.
  5. K. Newey, Whitney, 1985. "Generalized method of moments specification testing," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 229-256, September.
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