Understanding Compulsory Schooling Legislation: A Formal Model and Implications for Empirical Analysis

27 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2009

See all articles by Mark Gradstein

Mark Gradstein

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Moshe Justman

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev - Department of Economics; University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research

Abstract

We construct a simple model of compulsory schooling in which legislation and compliance are endogenously determined by individuals disciplined by social norms, optimizing their voting decisions and the school attendance of their children. The model provides a formal framework for interpreting empirical results on the effect of compulsory-schooling legislation (CSL) on enrollment. This sheds light on the use of CSL as an instrumental variable to identify the benefits of schooling, suggesting how the estimates it produces may be biased.

Keywords: compliance norms, compulsory schooling, education

JEL Classification: I21

Suggested Citation

Gradstein, Mark and Justman, Moshe, Understanding Compulsory Schooling Legislation: A Formal Model and Implications for Empirical Analysis. IZA Discussion Paper No. 4420, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1489243 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1489243

Mark Gradstein (Contact Author)

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev - Department of Economics ( email )

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World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

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Moshe Justman

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev - Department of Economics ( email )

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Israel
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+972 864 72941 (Fax)

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research ( email )

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Australia

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