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Forced to be Rich? Returns to Compulsory Schooling in Britain

  • Paul J. Devereux

    (School of Economics and Geary Institute UCD, CEPR and IZA)

  • Robert A. Hart

    (Department of Economics, University of Stirling and IZA)

Do students benefit from compulsory schooling? In an important article, Oreopoulos (2006) studied the 1947 British compulsory schooling law change and found large returns to schooling of about 15% using the General Household Survey (GHS). Reanalysing this dataset, we find much smaller returns of about 3% on average with no evidence of any positive return for women and a return for men of 4-7%. Additionally, we utilize the New Earnings Survey Panel Data-set (NESPD) that has earnings information superior to that in the GHS and find similar estimates: zero returns for women and returns of 3 to 4% for men.

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File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/geary/static/publications/workingpapers/gearywp200940.pdf
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Paper provided by Geary Institute, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 200940.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: 18 Nov 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:200940
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  1. Lindeboom, Maarten & Llena-Nozal, Ana & van der Klaauw, Bas, 2009. "Parental education and child health: Evidence from a schooling reform," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 109-131, January.
  2. Paul J Devereux & Robert A Hart, 2009. "Forced to be Rich? Returns to Compulsory Schooling in Britain," Working Papers 200924, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  3. Guido Imbens & Thomas Lemieux, 2007. "Regression Discontinuity Designs: A Guide to Practice," NBER Technical Working Papers 0337, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  5. Costas Meghir & Mårten Palme, 2004. "Educational reform, ability and family background," IFS Working Papers W04/10, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  6. Manning, Alan, 2000. "Movin' on up: Interpreting the Earnings-Experience Profile," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 261-95, October.
  7. Maarten Lindeboom & Ana Llena Nozal & Bas van der Klaauw, 2006. "Parental Education and Child Health: Evidence from a Schooling Reform," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 06-109/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  8. Paul J. Devereux & Robert A. Hart, 2008. "Forced to be rich? Returns to compulsory schooling in Britain," Open Access publications 10197/738, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  9. Philip Oreopoulos & Marianne E. Page, 2006. "The Intergenerational Effects of Compulsory Schooling," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(4), pages 729-760, October.
  10. Paul J. Devereux & Sandra E. Black & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2005. "Why the apple doesn't fall far : understanding intergenerational transmission of human capital," Open Access publications 10197/309, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  11. Maarten Lindeboom & Ana Llena Nozal & Bas van der Klaauw, 2006. "Parental Education and Child Health: Evidence from a Schooling Reform," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 06-109/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  12. Steven Haider & Gary Solon, 2006. "Life-Cycle Variation in the Association between Current and Lifetime Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1308-1320, September.
  13. Imbens, Guido W & Angrist, Joshua D, 1994. "Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 467-75, March.
  14. Jorn-Steffen Pischke & Till von Wachter, 2008. "Zero returns to compulsory schooling in Germany: evidence and interpretation," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19509, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  15. Joshua Angrist & Alan Krueger, 1990. "The Effect of Age at School Entry on Educational Attainment: An Application of Instrumental Variables with Moments from Two Samples," Working Papers 654, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  16. Colm Harmon & Ian Walker, 1995. "Estimates of the economic return to schooling for the United Kingdom," Open Access publications 10197/647, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  17. Lance Lochner & Enrico Moretti, 2001. "The Effect of Education on Crime: Evidence from Prison Inmates, Arrests, and Self-Reports," NBER Working Papers 8605, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Jörn-Steffen Pischke & Till von Wachter, 2008. "Zero Returns to Compulsory Schooling in Germany: Evidence and Interpretation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 592-598, August.
  19. Harmon, Colm & Walker, Ian, 1995. "Estimates of the Economic Return to Schooling for the United Kingdom," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1278-86, December.
  20. Sandra Black & Paul Devereux & Kjell Salvanes, 2004. "Why the apple doesn't fall far: understanding intergenerational transmission of human capital," Working Paper Series 2004-12, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  21. SandraE. Black & PaulJ. Devereux & KjellG. Salvanes, 2008. "Staying in the Classroom and out of the maternity ward? The effect of compulsory schooling laws on teenage births," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(530), pages 1025-1054, 07.
  22. James Banks & Richard Blundell, 2005. "Private pension arrangements and retirement in Britain," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 26(1), pages 35-53, March.
  23. Julien Grenet, 2013. "Is Extending Compulsory Schooling Alone Enough to Raise Earnings? Evidence from French and British Compulsory Schooling Laws," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 115(1), pages 176-210, 01.
  24. Atsushi Inoue & Gary Solon, 2010. "Two-Sample Instrumental Variables Estimators," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(3), pages 557-561, August.
  25. Philip Oreopoulos, 2006. "Estimating Average and Local Average Treatment Effects of Education when Compulsory Schooling Laws Really Matter," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 152-175, March.
  26. David S. Lee & David Card, 2006. "Regression Discontinuity Inference with Specification Error," NBER Technical Working Papers 0322, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Anderberg, Dan & Andersson, Fredrik, 2003. "Investments in human capital, wage uncertainty, and public policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1521-1537, August.
  28. Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2005. "The Relationship Between Education and Adult Mortality in the United States," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 189-221.
  29. Damon Clark & Heather Royer, 2010. "The Effect of Education on Adult Health and Mortality: Evidence from Britain," NBER Working Papers 16013, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  30. Oreopoulos, Philip, 2007. "Do dropouts drop out too soon? Wealth, health and happiness from compulsory schooling," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(11-12), pages 2213-2229, December.
  31. Milligan, Kevin & Moretti, Enrico & Oreopoulos, Philip, 2004. "Does education improve citizenship? Evidence from the United States and the United Kingdom," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1667-1695, August.
  32. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
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