Did the Great Depression affect Educational Attainment in the US?

Economics Bulletin 01/2009; 9(30):1-10.
Source: RePEc

ABSTRACT Great Depression is an example of a macroeconomic crisis that produced adverse economic and social effects in all spheres of life. Theoretical arguments about the real effects of the Great Depression on education vary. First is economic hardships, which might force individuals eligible to go to school to work instead. Second is that high unemployment would make going to school the best other viable alternative. Following these theoretical notions, this paper explores the impact of the Great Depression on education, on race (whites and blacks) and gender (males and females), during the period 1930-1940. Furthermore, I test the effects of state employment indices on education. The results (using 1960 census data) show some evidence that education of whites born between 1911 and 1915 was affected. However, there is no evidence that the variation in state employment indices affected the decision of schooling on the average (mean).


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