Why Does Educational Attainment Differ Across U.S. States?
College attainment differs nearly two-fold across U.S. states. This paper shows that highly educated states employ skill-biased technologies, specialize in skill-intensive industries, but do not pay lower skill premia. A theory based on agglomeration economies is developed to account for these observations
Education, human capital, agglomeration
The fraction of persons holding a college degree differs nearly two-fold across U.S. states. This paper documents data related to state educational attainment differences and explores possible explanations. It shows that highly educated states employ skillbiased technologies, specialize in skill-intensive industries, but do not pay lower skill premia than do less educated states. Moreover, measures of urbanization and population density are positively related to educational attainment. Theories based on agglomeration economies offer natural explanations for these observations.
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