NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Role of School Improvement in Economic Development

Eric A. Hanushek, Ludger Woessmann

NBER Working Paper No. 12832
Issued in January 2007
NBER Program(s):   CH   ED   EFG   ITI   LS   PE

The role of improved schooling, a central part of most development strategies, has become controversial because expansion of school attainment has not guaranteed improved economic conditions. This paper reviews the role of education in promoting economic well-being, with a particular focus on the role of educational quality. It concludes that there is strong evidence that the cognitive skills of the population - rather than mere school attainment - are powerfully related to individual earnings, to the distribution of income, and to economic growth. New empirical results show the importance of both minimal and high level skills, the complementarity of skills and the quality of economic institutions, and the robustness of the relationship between skills and growth. International comparisons incorporating expanded data on cognitive skills reveal much larger skill deficits in developing countries than generally derived from just school enrollment and attainment. The magnitude of change needed makes clear that closing the economic gap with developed countries will require major structural changes in schooling institutions.

download in pdf format
   (998 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (998 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w12832

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Hanushek, Lavy, and Hitomi w12737 Do Students Care about School Quality? Determinants of Dropout Behavior in Developing Countries
Hanushek and Woessmann w15066 Schooling, Cognitive Skills, and the Latin American Growth Puzzle
Hanushek and Woessmann w14633 Do Better Schools Lead to More Growth? Cognitive Skills, Economic Outcomes, and Causation
Hanushek and Woessmann w15949 The Economics of International Differences in Educational Achievement
Mincer w0803 Human Capital and Economic Growth
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us