This paper provides first evidence on the social returns to education from both firm-level and regional human capital. Using panel data from German social security, both at an individual and aggregated at the plant and regional level, I estimate earnings functions incorporating measures of regional and firm-level human capital while controlling for various types of unobserved heterogeneity, demand shocks, regional physical capital and other regional and firm-level confounders. The results suggest negligibly small external returns to the firm-level shares of high-skilled workers. On the regional level, the results show no support for external returns to education, except for skilled workers.
Human capital externalities social returns to education error-component model