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Empirical essays on the economics of education and skills

Pelkonen, P.O.; (2009) Empirical essays on the economics of education and skills. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

The PhD consists of four empirical articles, in which I measure how education and skills affect the economic and social outcomes of individuals, as well as the society as a whole, and thus attempt to also measure social returns to education. Two of the articles are co-authored work, while two are single-authored. The first three articles use a Norwegian comprehensive school reform as a source of exogenous variation for education. The minimum years of compulsory schooling in Norway was raised from seven to nine between the 1960s and 1970s, which corresponds to a substantial amount of formal, non-voluntary education. The timing of this reform differed greatly across geographic areas of Norway. The first study measures whether education increases the incidence of regional migration and improves labour market outcomes at the individual level, by following roughly 67000 individuals over 17 years. The second study uses electoral survey data to estimate how political participation and political choice of individuals has been affected by the additional years of education due to the school reform. The third article studies human capital externalities within localities by estimating whether the local level of education affects the productivity of manufacturing plants, once plant inputs are controlled for. The article uses Norwegian register data over years 1986-2002, The last article of the thesis examines wage returns to computer use in the United Kingdom. It uses workplace level data from 2004, and detailed information on computer use at work to estimate wage returns to computer use in general, as well as to different types of computer use. Also the return to the intensity of computer use is assessed, as measured by the number of tasks a computer is used for. The role of computer skills and general ability in the wage returns to computer use is discussed.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Empirical essays on the economics of education and skills
Language:English
Additional information:Authorisation for digitisation not received
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences > Economics

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