NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

How Large are the Social Returns to Education? Evidence from Compulsory Schooling Laws

Daron Acemoglu, Joshua Angrist

NBER Working Paper No. 7444
Issued in December 1999
NBER Program(s):   EFG   LS   PE

Average schooling in US states is highly correlated with state wage levels, even after controlling for the direct effect of schooling on individual wages. We use an instrumental variables strategy to determine whether this relationship is driven by social returns to education. The instrumentals for average schooling are derived from information on the child labor laws and compulsory attendance laws that affected men in our Census samples, while quarter of birth is used as an instrument for individual schooling. This results in precisely estimated private returns to education of about seven percent, and small social returns, typically less than one percent, that are not significantly different from zero.

download in pdf format
   (808 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (808 K) or via email.

An online appendix is available for this publication.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w7444

Published:

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Card and Krueger w3358 Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Public Schools in the United States
Alesina, Danninger, and Rostagno w7387 Redistribution Through Public Employment: The Case of Italy
Rauch w3905 Productivity Gains From Geographic Concentration of human Capital: Evidence From the Cities
Meyer and Rosenbaum w7491 Making Single Mothers Work: Recent Tax and Welfare Policy and its Effects
Harris, Hubbard, and Kemsley w7445 The Share Price Effects of Dividend Taxes and Tax Imputation Credits
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
Data
People
About

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

Contact Us