THE EFFECT OF EDUCATION ON COGNITIVE ABILITY

Authors

  • TORBERG FALCH,

    1. Falch: Professor, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, N-7491 Trondheim, Norway. Phone 47-73596757, Fax 47-73596954, E-mail torberg.falch@svt.ntnu.no
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  • SOFIA SANDGREN MASSIH

    1. Sandgren Massih: Researcher, Department of Economics, Uppsala University, S-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden and Centre for Banking and Finance, the Royal Institute of Technology, 10044 Stockholm, Sweden. Phone 46-184711591, Fax 46-1847114 78, E-mail sofia.sandgren@nek.uu.se
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    • An earlier version of this paper has been presented at the conference of the European Association of Labour Economists in Oslo, the conference of the EEEPE network in Paris, and the conference of the Norwegian Economic Association in Tromsø. Comments from the conference participants, Edwin Leuven, Bjarne Strøm, and two anonymous referees are gratefully acknowledged.


Abstract

This paper analyzes whether schooling increases intelligence measured by intelligence quotient (IQ). We use a longitudinal dataset where the individuals have conducted IQ tests both at ages 10 and 20. We estimate the effect of schooling on IQ at age 20 conditional on IQ at age 10 and other measures of early cognitive ability to account for selection into noncompulsory schooling. Ordinary least squares estimates indicate that 1 year of schooling increases IQ by 2.9–3.5 points (about 0.2 SD deviations), and instrumental variables estimates are similar. (JEL I21, J24)

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