SCHOOL QUALITY AND RETURNS TO EDUCATION OF U.S. IMMIGRANTS

Authors

  • Bernt Bratsberg,

    1. Bratsberg: Professor, Department of Economics, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506. E-mail bernt@ksu.edu
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  • Dek Terrell

    1. Terrell: Associate Professor, Department of Economics, 2114 CEBA, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70806. E-mail mdterre@lsu.edu
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    • *

      We are grateful to Michael Baker, David Card, William Carrington, Matthew Cushing, Daniel Hamermesh, Mary McGarvey, James Ragan, Stephen Trejo, and Three anonymous referees for helpful comments.


Abstract

Using the U.S. labor market as a common point of reference, this article investigates the influence of source country school quality on the returns to education of immigrants. Based on 1980 and 1990 census data, we first estimate country-of-origin specific returns to education. Results reveal that immigrants from Japan and northern Europe receive high returns and immigrants from Central America receive low returns. Next we examine the relationship between school quality measures and these returns. Holding per capita GDP and other factors constant, immigrants from countries with lower pupil-teacher ratios and greater expenditures per pupil earn higher returns to education.)

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