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Social returns to education

Externalities generated by education of individuals, or human capital externalities. Increases in the overall level of education can benefit society in ways that are not fully reflected in the wages educated workers. In particular, aggregate productivity may increase far beyond the direct effect of education on individual productivity due to human capital spillovers. Furthermore, increases in education also may result in better health of educated individuals and their children, reduce criminal participation, and improve voters’ political behaviour.

Reference: Oxford Press Dictonary of Economics, 5th edt.