Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2294146
 
 

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The Effect of Business Cycles on Educational Attainment


Ernest Boffy-Ramirez


University of Colorado at Denver

Benjamin Hansen


University of Oregon - Department of Economics

Hani Mansour


University of Colorado at Denver - Department of Economics

May 13, 2013


Abstract:     
This paper studies the impact of fluctuations in unemployment rates before high school graduation, at age 17, on educational attainment. We hypothesize that schooling decisions are counter-cyclical, but that the impact of higher unemployment rates varies over the ability distribution, as measured by the Armed Forces Qualifying Test (AFQT). Using data from the 1979 National Longitudinal Study of Youth (NLSY79), combined with information on national unemployment rates, we find support for this hypothesis. Specifically, we find that higher unemployment rates at age 17 increase completed years of education and the probability of college graduation for individuals in the 60th-80th quintile of the AFQT distribution. We find no evidence that higher unemployment rates are related to the probability of high school graduation.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 19

Keywords: human capital accumulation, unemployment, business cycles, ability

JEL Classification: I2, J6, E2

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Date posted: July 16, 2013  

Suggested Citation

Boffy-Ramirez, Ernest and Hansen, Benjamin and Mansour, Hani, The Effect of Business Cycles on Educational Attainment (May 13, 2013). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2294146 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2294146

Contact Information

Ernest Boffy-Ramirez
University of Colorado at Denver ( email )
Box 173364
1250 14th Street
Denver, CO 80217
United States
Benjamin Hansen (Contact Author)
University of Oregon - Department of Economics ( email )
Eugene, OR 97403
United States
Hani Mansour
University of Colorado at Denver - Department of Economics ( email )
Campus Box 181
P.O. Box 173364
Denver, CO 80218
United States
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