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Measuring Aggregate Human Capital

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  • Mulligan, Casey B
  • Sala-i-Martin, Xavier

Abstract

We construct a set of human capital indexes for the states of the United States for each census year starting in 1940. To do so, we propose a new methodology for the construction of index numbers in panel data sets. Our method is based on an optimal approach by which we choose the "best" set of index numbers by minimizing the expected estimation error subject to some research constraints. Some of the empirical findings are that the stock of human capital in the United States grew twice as rapidly as the average years of schooling and that human capital inequality across states went up during the 1980s (while the dispersion of schooling actually fell). We conclude that using the average years of schooling for the empirical study of existing growth models may be misleading. Copyright 2000 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 5 (2000)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 215-52

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jecgro:v:5:y:2000:i:3:p:215-52

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

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  1. Robert J. Barro, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," NBER Working Papers 3120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Mulligan, C.B. & Sala-i-Martin, X., 1992. "Transitional Dynamics in Two-Sector Models of Endogenous Growth," Papers 651, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  3. Diewert, W. E., 1976. "Exact and superlative index numbers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 115-145, May.
  4. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong-Wha, 1993. "International comparisons of educational attainment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 363-394, December.
  5. Kravis, Irving B, 1984. "Comparative Studies of National Incomes and Prices," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 22(1), pages 1-39, March.
  6. Summers, Robert & Heston, Alan, 1991. "The Penn World Table (Mark 5): An Expanded Set of International Comparisons, 1950-1988," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 327-68, May.
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