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Higher Test Scores or More Schooling? Another Look at the Causes of Economic Growth

Susan Notes:

This article appearing in Journal of Human Capital, Vol. 9, No. 2 (Summer 2015), pp. 239-263, rebuts Hanushek. If you have access to a university library,then it's easy to access. Otherwise, ask your public library to get it for you.

by Theodore R. Breton, Universidad EAFIT


Abstract


I use a dynamic augmented Solow model to estimate the effect of international test scores and investment in schooling and tutoring on economic growth rates in 55 countries during 1985â"2005. Either test scores or investment in schooling and tutoring can explain growth rates in the full data set or in countries that had less than 8 years of schooling in 1985. In countries with more schooling in 1985, investment in schooling has a small effect and test scores have no effect on growth rates. In the 24 countries with scores above 470, higher scores have no effect on growth rates.


from the paper

I find that these measures explain growth rates well only in countries with relatively low levels of schooling and test scores. Average test scores cannot explain growth rates during 1985â"2005 in countries that had more than 8 years of schooling attainment in 1985 or in countries that had average test scores over 470. These results call into question Hanushek and Woessmann's ð2011aà claim that raising students' test scores at ages 9â"15 is an attractive growth strategy for OECD countries. In contrast, rates of investment in schooling can explain growth rates in countries with more than 8 years of schooling, but its estimated effect is smaller than in countries with less schooling.

— Theodore R. Breton, Universidad EAFIT
Journal of Human Capital
2015-08-01


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