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Growth, distance to frontier and composition of human capital

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  • Jérôme Vandenbussche
  • Philippe Aghion
  • Costas Meghir
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    Abstract

    We examine the contribution of human capital to economy-wide technological improvements through the two channels of innovation and imitation. We develop a theoretical model showing that skilled labor has a higher growth-enhancing effect closer to the technological frontier under the reasonable assumption that innovation is a relatively more skill-intensive activity than imitation. Also, we provide evidence in favor of this prediction using a panel dataset covering 19 OECD countries between 1960 and 2000 and explain why previous empirical research had found no positive relationship between initial schooling level and subsequent growth in rich countries. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10887-006-9002-y
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Economic Growth.

    Volume (Year): 11 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 2 (June)
    Pages: 97-127

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:jecgro:v:11:y:2006:i:2:p:97-127

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    Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102931

    Related research

    Keywords: Economic growth; Human capital; Imitation; Innovation; Convergence; P: I20; O30; O40;

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    References

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    1. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2004. "From Physical to Human Capital Accumulation: Inequality and the Process of Development," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(4), pages 1001-1026.
    2. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2000. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," CID Working Papers 42, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    3. Aghion, P. & Howitt, P., 1989. "A Model Of Growth Through Creative Destruction," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 8904, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
    4. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Philippe Aghion & Nicholas Bloom & Richard Blundell & Rachel Griffith & Peter Howitt, 2002. "Competition and innovation: an inverted U relationship," IFS Working Papers W02/04, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    6. Francesco Caselli & Wilbur John Coleman II, 2000. "The World Technology Frontier," NBER Working Papers 7904, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Zilibotti, Fabrizio & Redding, Stephen & Burgess, Robin & Aghion, Philippe, 2008. "The Unequal Effects of Liberalization: Evidence from Dismantling the License Raj in India," Scholarly Articles 4554127, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    8. Robin, Jean-Marc & Smith, Richard J., 2000. "Tests Of Rank," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(02), pages 151-175, April.
    9. Alan B. Krueger & Mikael Lindahl, 2000. "Education for Growth: Why and For Whom?," NBER Working Papers 7591, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    11. de la Fuente, Angel & Doménech, Rafael, 2000. "Human Capital In Growth Regressions: How Much Difference Does Data Quality Make?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2466, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. repec:wop:humbsf:2000-42 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Prantl, Susanne & Howitt, Peter & Griffith, Rachel & Blundell, Richard & Aghion, Philippe, 2004. "Entry and Productivity Growth: Evidence From Microlevel Panel Data," Scholarly Articles 4481510, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    14. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2006. "Das Human-Kapital: A Theory of the Demise of the Class Structure," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 85-117.
    15. Desdoigts, Alain, 2000. "Neoclassical convergence versus technological catch-up: A contribution for reaching a consensus," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2000,42, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
    16. Acemoglu, Daron & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2000. "Productivity Differences," CEPR Discussion Papers 2498, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. Douglas Gollin, 2002. "Getting Income Shares Right," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 458-474, April.
    18. Paul Romer, 1991. "Endogenous Technological Change," NBER Working Papers 3210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Topel, Robert, 1999. "Labor markets and economic growth," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 44, pages 2943-2984 Elsevier.
    20. Peter J. Klenow & Mark Bils, 2000. "Does Schooling Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1160-1183, December.
    21. Acemoglu, Daron, 1996. "A Microfoundation for Social Increasing Returns in Human Capital Accumulation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(3), pages 779-804, August.
    22. Benhabib, Jess & Spiegel, Mark M., 1994. "The role of human capital in economic development evidence from aggregate cross-country data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 143-173, October.
    23. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-26, November.
    24. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
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