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Indentifying human capital externalities: Theory with an application to US cities

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Abstract

The identification of aggregate human capital externalities is still not fully understood. The existing (Mincerian) approach confounds positive externalities with wage changes due to a downward sloping demand curve for human capital. As a result, it yields positive externalities even when wages equal marginal social products. We propose an approach that identifies human capital externalities whether or not aggregate demand for human capital slopes downward. Another advantage of our approach is that it does not require estimates of the individual return to human capital. Applications to US cities and states between 1970 and 1990 yield no evidence of significant average -schooling externalities.

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  • Antonio Ciccone & Giovanni Peri, 2002. "Indentifying human capital externalities: Theory with an application to US cities," Economics Working Papers 611, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jul 2005.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:611
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Human capital; Externalities; wages; downward sloping labor; demand; imperfect substitutability;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O0 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - General
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity
    • R0 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs

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