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Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?

Joshua D. Angrist and Alan B. Krueger
The Quarterly Journal of Economics
Vol. 106, No. 4 (Nov., 1991), pp. 979-1014
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2937954
Page Count: 36
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Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?
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Abstract

We establish that season of birth is related to educational attainment because of school start age policy and compulsory school attendance laws. Individuals born in the beginning of the year start school at an older age, and can therefore drop out after completing less schooling than individuals born near the end of the year. Roughly 25 percent of potential dropouts remain in school because of compulsory schooling laws. We estimate the impact of compulsory schooling on earnings by using quarter of birth as an instrument for education. The instrumental variables estimate of the return to education is close to the ordinary least squares estimate, suggesting that there is little bias in conventional estimates.

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