Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 539–558

Firm-level social returns to education

Original Paper


Do workers benefit from the education of their co-workers? We examine this question first by introducing a model of learning, which argues that educated workers may transfer part of their general skills to uneducated workers, and then by examining detailed matched employer–employee panel data from Portugal. We find evidence of large firm-level social returns (between 14% and 23%), much larger than standard estimates of private returns, and of significant returns accruing to less educated workers but not to their more educated colleagues.


Education spillovers Matched employer–employee data Endogenous growth 

JEL Classification

J24 J31 I20 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Business and ManagementQueen Mary, University of LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.IZABonnGermany
  3. 3.CEG-ISTLisbonPortugal
  4. 4.School of Economics and FinanceUniversity of St AndrewsSt AndrewsUK

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