Educational Attainment and the Revival of U.S. Economic Growth


Jorgenson, Dale W., Mun S. Ho, and Jon D. Samuels. “Educational Attainment and the Revival of U.S. Economic Growth.” In Education, Skills, and Technical Change: Implications for Future U.S. GDP Growth. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, Forthcoming.


Labor quality growth captures the upgrading of the labor force through higher educational attainment and greater experience. We find that average levels of educational attainment of new entrants remain high, but will no longer continue to rise. Growing educational attainment will gradually disappear as a source of U.S. economic growth. Our second finding is that the investment boom of 1995-2000 drew many younger and less-educated workers into employment. Employment rates for these workers declined during the recovery of 2000-2007 and dropped further during the Great Recession of 2007-2009. Our third finding is employment rates for less-educated workers are unlikely to recover the peak levels that followed the investment boom of 1995-2000. In order to assess the prospects for recovery of employment rates as a potential source U.S. economic growth, we project these rates of each age-gender-education group. JEL No. E01,E24,O4,O47

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