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Human capital and economic growth: Sweden 1870–2000

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Author Info

  • Jonas Ljungberg

    ()
    (Department of Economic History, Lund University, P.O. Box 7083, Lund, 22007, Sweden.)

  • Anders Nilsson

    (Department of Economic History, Lund University, P.O. Box 7083, Lund, 22007, Sweden.)

Abstract

This paper presents newly constructed series on human capital in Sweden 1870–2000. The estimates are based on enrolment in different forms of education, stretching as far back as 1812, and the size and age distribution of the population within age range 15–65 years. The secular accumulation of human capital has closely matched the long-term trend in aggregate productivity and both grew at a rate of 2.4% annually. Our estimates differ significantly from the data attributed to Sweden in the international short-cut estimates of human capital for the period since 1960. The basic question addressed is about causality: whether human capital causes economic growth or if causality goes in the other direction. We address this problem with modified Granger-causality tests. According to our results, changes in the stock of human capital have in a systematic way preceded changes in aggregate productivity up to the structural crisis in the 1970s. This allows us to conclude that human capital has been a causal factor in Swedish economic growth since the industrialisation. However, after 1975, the growth of human capital has not been able to match the demands of the third industrial revolution.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC) in its journal Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History.

Volume (Year): 3 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 71-95

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Handle: RePEc:afc:cliome:v:3:y:2009:i:1:p:71-95

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Web page: http://www.cliometrie.org
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Related research

Keywords: Human capital; Education; Economic growth; Productivity; Vocational education;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Cervellati, Matteo & Sunde, Uwe, 2013. "The Economic and Demographic Transition, Mortality, and Comparative Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 9337, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Crafts, Nicholas & Klein, Alexander, 2013. "Geography and Intra-National Home Bias: U.S. Domestic Trade in 1949 and 2007," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 112, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  3. Prados de la Escosura, Leandro & Rosés, Joan R., 2010. "Human capital and economic growth in Spain, 1850-2000," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 520-532, October.
  4. Ljungberg, Jonas, 2013. "A Scientific Revolution that Made Life Longer. Schooling and the Decline of Infant Mortality in Europe," Lund Papers in Economic History 127, Department of Economic History, Lund University.
  5. Christian Andersson & Per Johansson, 2013. "Social stratification and out-of-school learning," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 176(3), pages 679-701, 06.
  6. Awel, Ahmed Mohammed, 2013. "The long-run Relationship between Human Capital and Economic Growth in Sweden," MPRA Paper 45183, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Emanuele Felice, 2012. "Regional convergence in Italy, 1891–2001: testing human and social capital," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 6(3), pages 267-306, October.
  8. Cristian Dragos & Simona Laura Dragos, 2012. "Econometric Estimations of the Services and Financial Sector Impact on Economic Growth Variations in Times of Crisis," The AMFITEATRU ECONOMIC journal, Academy of Economic Studies - Bucharest, Romania, vol. 14(Special N), pages 621-634, November.

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