Human capital agglomeration and social returns to education in Colombia

Produced by: 
Banco de la República de Colombia
Available from: 
May 2015
Paper author(s): 
Luis Eduardo Arango (Banco de la República)
Gabriela Bonilla (Cámara Colombiana de la Construcción)
Topic: 
Education - Health
Labor
Year: 
2015

We provide evidence of private returns to education and externalities which jointly render social returns in the labor market of Colombia. The spillover in the cities is generated by the share of college educated workers in the working-age population. Thus, the higher is this share in the cities, the higher the wages. The size of the externality is about 0.66; that is, an increase in the share of one percentage point will increase the wage in 0.66%. For highly educated workers the externality is about 0.75 while for low educated it is not significant. The results change in an important way if Bogotá, the capital city of the country, is excluded from the sample. Resources destined by the Colombian Institute for Educational Credit and Technical Studies Abroad (ICETEX) to fund undergraduate and postgraduate studies in provinces affect the outcomes if Bogotá is within the sample. A positive correlation between the size of cities and human capital agglomeration is also observed in such a way that if the former is substituted for the latter, we can still find the spillover.

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Research section: 
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