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After, Before and During: Returns to Education in the Hungarian Transition


  • Nauro F. Campos


  • Dean Jolliffe


How valuable are the education and skills acquired under socialism in a market economy? This paper uses data for about 3 million Hungarian wage earners, from 1986 to 1998, to throw light on this question. We find that returns to schooling reach 10 percent early on and remain at this high level. These estimates are larger than for other transition economies, but similar to those for middle-income developing countries. With the gap in average years of schooling unremitting, we argue that the Hungarian stock of human capital is considerably less than the existing figures have led us to believe.

Suggested Citation

  • Nauro F. Campos & Dean Jolliffe, 2002. "After, Before and During: Returns to Education in the Hungarian Transition," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 475, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  • Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:2002-475

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Campos, Nauro F. & Jolliffe, Dean, 2003. "After, before and during: returns to education in Hungary (1986-1998)," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 377-390, December.
    2. Lamo, Ana & Messina, Julián & Wasmer, Etienne, 2011. "Are specific skills an obstacle to labor market adjustment?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 240-256, April.
    3. Fleisher, Belton M. & Sabirianova, Klara & Wang, Xiaojun, 2005. "Returns to skills and the speed of reforms: Evidence from Central and Eastern Europe, China, and Russia," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 351-370, June.
    4. Mihails Hazans & Olga Rastrigina & Ija Trapeznikova, 2005. "Family background and schooling outcomes before and during the transition - Evidence from the Baltic countries," Labor and Demography 0505002, EconWPA.
    5. Jiří Balcar, 2012. " The “Soft Five” in Romania," Romanian Economic Journal, Department of International Business and Economics from the Academy of Economic Studies Bucharest, vol. 15(43), pages 23-44, March.
    6. Avdullah Hoti, 2004. "Human Capital and Unemployment in Transition Economies: The Case of Kosova," Labor and Demography 0412007, EconWPA.
    7. Karolina Goraus & Joanna Tyrowicz & Lucas van der Velde, 2017. "How (Not) to Make Women Work?," GRAPE Working Papers 1, GRAPE Group for Research in Applied Economics.
    8. Jiri Balcar, 2013. "Soft Competencies in Bulgaria," Economic Alternatives, University of National and World Economy, Sofia, Bulgaria, issue 2, pages 88-99, April.

    More about this item


    Human Capital; Labor Markets; Transition Economies; Hungary;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe
    • P20 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - General

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