Education and Nonmarket Outcomes
100 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2005 Last revised: 26 Aug 2010
Date Written: August 2005
I explore the effects of education on nonmarket outcomes from both theoretical and empirical perspectives. Examples of outcomes considered include general consumption patterns at a moment in time, savings and the rate of growth of consumption over time, own (adult) health and inputs into the production of own health, fertility, and child quality or well-being reflected by their health and cognitive development. I pay a good deal of attention to the effects of education on health because they are the two most important sources of human capital: knowledge capital and health capital. There is a large literature addressing the nature of their complementarities. In the conceptual foundation section, I consider models in which education has productive efficiency and allocative efficiency effects. I then modify these frameworks to allow for the endogenous nature of schooling decisions, so that observed schooling effects can be traced in part to omitted "third variables" such as an orientation towards the future. An additional complication is that schooling may contribute to a future orientation. The empirical review provides a good deal of evidence for the proposition that the education effects are causal but is less conclusive with regard to the identification of specific mechanisms.
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