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Globalization and Human Capital Investment: How Export Composition Drives Educational Attainment

This paper demonstrates that the composition of a country's exports is an important driver of educational attainment. Using detailed trade data and a gravity-based IV technique, we identify the causal impact of changes in the pattern of a country's exports on subsequent educational attainment. Relying on within-country variation over forty-five years for more than one hundred countries, our empirical analysis shows that exports of low-skill-intensive goods depresses average years of schooling - particularly at the primary level - while exports of skill-intensive goods increases years of schooling - at higher rungs of the educational ladder. Our results provide new insights into which types of sectoral growth are most beneficial for long-term human capital formation and suggest that trade can exacerbate initial differences in factor endowments across countries.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Williams College in its series Department of Economics Working Papers with number 2013-18.

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Length: 54 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2013
Date of revision: Mar 2015
Handle: RePEc:wil:wileco:2013-18
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  1. Stephen Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2003. "Distance, Skill Deepening and Development: Will Peripheral Countries Ever Get Rich?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0572, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. Oded Galor & Andrew Mountford, 2008. "Trading Population for Productivity: Theory and Evidence," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(4), pages 1143-1179.
  3. Daniel C. Hickman & William W. Olney, 2011. "Globalization and Investment in Human Capital," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 64(4), pages 654-672, July.
  4. Carl Davidson & Nicholas Sly, 2013. "A Simple Model of Globalization, Schooling and Skill Acquisition," CESifo Working Paper Series 4394, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Raghuram G. Rajan & Arvind Subramanian, 2005. "Aid and Growth: What Does the Cross-Country Evidence Really Show?," NBER Working Papers 11513, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Emily Blanchard & Gerald Willmann, 2013. "Trade, Education, and the Shrinking Middle Class," CESifo Working Paper Series 4141, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. David Atkin, 2010. "Endogenous Skill Acquisition and Export Manufacturing in Mexico," Working Papers id:2506, eSocialSciences.
  8. Claustre Bajona & Timothy Kehoe, 2010. "Trade, Growth, and Convergence in a Dynamic Heckscher-Ohlin Model," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(3), pages 487-513, July.
  9. Vogel, Jonathan, 2007. "Institutions and moral hazard in open economies," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 495-514, April.
  10. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
  11. Robert C. Feenstra & Robert E. Lipsey & Haiyan Deng & Alyson C. Ma & Hengyong Mo, 2005. "World Trade Flows: 1962-2000," NBER Working Papers 11040, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Findlay, Ronald & Kierzkowski, Henryk, 1983. "International Trade and Human Capital: A Simple General Equilibrium Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(6), pages 957-78, December.
  13. Wood, Adrian & Ridao-Cano, Cristobal, 1999. "Skill, Trade, and International Inequality," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(1), pages 89-119, January.
  14. Ventura, Jaume, 1997. "Growth and Interdependence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 57-84, February.
  15. Richard Baldwin & Daria Taglioni, 2006. "Gravity for Dummies and Dummies for Gravity Equations," NBER Working Papers 12516, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. James Feyrer, 2009. "Trade and Income -- Exploiting Time Series in Geography," NBER Working Papers 14910, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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