Why Does Educational Attainment Differ Across U.S. States?
36 Pages Posted: 11 Sep 2004
Date Written: November 2004
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: Suggested Citation