IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Explaining Educational Attainment across Countries and over Time

  • Diego Restuccia
  • Guillaume Vandenbroucke

Consider the following facts. In 1950 the richest ten-percent of countries attained an average of 8.1 years of schooling whereas the poorest ten-percent of countries attained 1.3 years, a 6-fold difference. By 2005, the difference in schooling declined to 2-fold. The fact is that schooling has increased faster in poor than in rich countries even though the per-capita income gap has generally not decreased. What explains educational attainment across countries and their evolution over time? We develop a model of human capital accumulation that emphasizes productivity and life expectancy differences across countries and time. Calibrating the parameters of the model to reproduce historical data for the United States, we find that the model accounts for 95 percent of the difference in schooling levels between rich and poor countries in 1950 and 78 percent of the increase in schooling over time in poor countries. The model generates a faster increase in schooling in poor than in rich economies even when their income gap does not decrease. These results have important implications for educational policy.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: https://www.economics.utoronto.ca/public/workingPapers/tecipa-433.pdf
File Function: Main Text
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University of Toronto, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number tecipa-433.

as
in new window

Length: Unknown pages
Date of creation: 14 Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-433
Contact details of provider: Postal:
150 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario

Phone: (416) 978-5283

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. John W. Kendrick, 1961. "Productivity Trends in the United States," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number kend61-1, March.
  2. Piyabha Kongsamut & Sergio Rebelo & Danyang Xie, 1997. "Beyond Balanced Growth," NBER Working Papers 6159, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Guillaume Vandenbroucke & Diego Restuccia, 2008. "The Evolution of Education: A Macroeconomic Analysis," 2008 Meeting Papers 377, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Rodrigo R. Soares, 2003. "Mortality Reductions, Educational Attainment, and Fertility Choice," Development and Comp Systems 0312006, EconWPA.
  5. Margarida Duarte & Diego Restuccia, 2010. "The Role of the Structural Transformation in Aggregate Productivity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(1), pages 129-173.
  6. Fatih Guvenen & Burhanettin Kuruscu, 2009. "A quantitative analysis of the evolution of the U.S. wage distribution, 1970-2000," Staff Report 427, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  7. Todd Schoellman, 2012. "Education Quality and Development Accounting," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(1), pages 388-417.
  8. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Age and Experience Profiles of Earnings," NBER Chapters, in: Schooling, Experience, and Earnings, pages 64-82 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Greenwood, Jeremy & Seshadri, Ananth, 2005. "Technological Progress and Economic Transformation," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 19, pages 1225-1273 Elsevier.
  10. Seema Jayachandran & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2008. "Life Expectancy and Human Capital Investments: Evidence From Maternal Mortality Declines," NBER Working Papers 13947, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Huberman, Michael & Minns, Chris, 2007. "The times they are not changin': Days and hours of work in Old and New Worlds, 1870-2000," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 538-567, October.
  12. Diego Restuccia & Guillaume Vandenbroucke, 2012. "A Century of Human Capital and Hours," Working Papers tecipa-460, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  13. Tatyana Koreshkova & Diego Restuccia & Andres Erosa, 2007. "How Important is Human Capital? A Quantitative Theory Assessment of World Income Inequality," 2007 Meeting Papers 782, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  14. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2010. "A New Data Set of Educational Attainment in the World, 1950-2010," NBER Working Papers 15902, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Douglas Gollin & Stephen Parente & Richard Rogerson, 2002. "The Role of Agriculture in Development," Department of Economics Working Papers 2002-09, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  16. Richard Rogerson, 2008. "Structural Transformation and the Deterioration of European Labor Market Outcomes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(2), pages 235-259, 04.
  17. James J. Heckman & Lance Lochner & Christopher Taber, 1998. "Explaining Rising Wage Inequality: Explorations with a Dynamic General Equilibrium Model of Labor Earnings with Heterogeneous Agents," NBER Working Papers 6384, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Juan Carlos Cordoba & Marla Ripoll, 2011. "What Explains Schooling Differences Across Countries?," Working Papers 2011-028, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  19. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number minc74-1, March.
  20. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson, 2007. "Disease and Development: The Effect of Life Expectancy on Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(6), pages 925-985, December.
  21. Richard Rogerson, 2006. "Understanding Differences in Hours Worked," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(3), pages 365-409, July.
  22. George Psacharopoulos & Harry Anthony Patrinos, 2004. "Returns to investment in education: a further update," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(2), pages 111-134.
  23. Robert J. Barro, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-443.
  24. Markusen, James R., 2010. "Putting Per-Capita Income back into Trade Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 7790, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  25. Hodrick, Robert J & Prescott, Edward C, 1997. "Postwar U.S. Business Cycles: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(1), pages 1-16, February.
  26. Alan Blinder & Yoram Weiss, 1974. "Human Capital and Labor Supply: A Synthesis," Working Papers 435, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  27. Lee, Donghoon & Wolpin, Kenneth I., 2010. "Accounting for wage and employment changes in the US from 1968-2000: A dynamic model of labor market equilibrium," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 156(1), pages 68-85, May.
  28. Daron Acemoglu, 2002. "Technical Change, Inequality, and the Labor Market," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(1), pages 7-72, March.
  29. repec:oup:restud:v:67:y:2000:i:3:p:545-61 is not listed on IDEAS
  30. Peter J. Klenow & Mark Bils, 2000. "Does Schooling Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1160-1183, December.
  31. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2007. "Measuring Trends in Leisure: The Allocation of Time Over Five Decades," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 969-1006.
  32. Moshe Hazan, 2009. "Longevity and Lifetime Labor Supply: Evidence and Implications," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(6), pages 1829-1863, November.
  33. Ellen R. McGrattan & Richard Rogerson, 2004. "Changes in hours worked, 1950?2000," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Jul, pages 14-33.
  34. Yoram Ben-Porath, 1967. "The Production of Human Capital and the Life Cycle of Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 352.
  35. McGrattan, Ellen R & Rogerson, Richard & Wright, Randall, 1997. "An Equilibrium Model of the Business Cycle with Household Production and Fiscal Policy," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(2), pages 267-90, May.
  36. Esther Duflo, 2000. "Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of School Construction in Indonesia: Evidence from an Unusual Policy Experiment," NBER Working Papers 7860, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  37. Gary S. Becker, 1962. "Investment in Human Capital: A Theoretical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 9.
  38. Ogaki, Masao, 1992. "Engel's Law and Cointegration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 1027-46, October.
  39. Benhabib, Jess & Spiegel, Mark M., 1994. "The role of human capital in economic development evidence from aggregate cross-country data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 143-173, October.
  40. Maddison, Angus, 1987. "Growth and Slowdown in Advanced Capitalist Economies: Techniques of Quantitative Assessment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 649-98, June.
  41. Atkeson, A. & Ogaki, M., 1991. "Wealth-Varying Intertemporal Elasticities of Substitution Evidence from Panel and Aggregate Data," RCER Working Papers 303, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  42. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Introduction to "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings"," NBER Chapters, in: Schooling, Experience, and Earnings, pages 1-4 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  43. Lutz Hendricks, 2002. "How Important Is Human Capital for Development? Evidence from Immigrant Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 198-219, March.
  44. Michael Huberman & Frank Lewis, 2007. "Bend it like Beckham: Hours and Wages across Forty-Eight Countries in 1900," Working Papers 1229, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  45. John Laitner, 2000. "Structural Change and Economic Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(3), pages 545-561.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-433. 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: (RePEc Maintainer)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.