Why Does Educational Attainment Differ Across U.S. States?

36 Pages Posted: 11 Sep 2004

See all articles by Lutz Hendricks

Lutz Hendricks

UNC Chapel Hill; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: November 2004

Abstract

The fraction of persons holding a college degree differs nearly two-fold across U.S. states. This paper documents data related to state educational attainment differences and explores possible explanations. It shows that highly educated states employ skill-biased technologies, specialize in skill-intensive industries, but do not pay lower skill premia than do less educated states. Moreover, measures of urbanization and population density are positively related to educational attainment. Theories based on agglomeration economies offer natural explanations for these observations.

Keywords: Education, U.S. states, human capital

JEL Classification: J24, R11

Suggested Citation

Hendricks, Lutz, Why Does Educational Attainment Differ Across U.S. States? (November 2004). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=587984

Lutz Hendricks (Contact Author)

UNC Chapel Hill ( email )

Chapel Hill, NC 27599
United States

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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