Education's Role in Economic Development and in Assisting the Poor
AbstractMuch faith has been put in the increased supply of education as a means to promote national economic development and as a way to assist the poor and the disadvantaged. However, the benefits that nations can obtain by increasing the level of education of their workforce depends on the availability of other forms of capital to complement the use of its educated workforce in production. Generally, less developed nations are lacking in complementary capital compared to more developed ones and it is appropriate for less developed countries to spend relatively less on education. The contribution of education to economic growth depends on a nation’s stage of economic development. It is only when a nation becomes relatively developed that education becomes a major contributor to economic growth. It is possible for less developed nations to retard their economic growth by favouring investment in educational capital rather than other forms of capital. Easy access to education is often portrayed as a powerful force for assisting the poor and the disadvantaged. Several reasons are given here as to why it may not be so effective in assisting the poor and in promoting greater income equality even though the aim is a worthy one. Also, an economic argument is presented in favour of special education for the physically and mentally handicapped. This paper is not intended to belittle the contribution of education to economic development nor to devalue the ideal of making basic education available to all. Instead, it is intended as an antidote to inflated claims about the ability of greater investment in education to promote economic growth and about the ability of more widespread access to education to reduce poverty and decrease income inequality.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Queensland, School of Economics in its series Social Economics, Policy and Development Working Papers with number 123452.
Date of creation: May 2005
Date of revision:
education; less developed nations; economic growth; Community/Rural/Urban Development; Labor and Human Capital; Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession;
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Lipton, Michael, 1980. "Migration from rural areas of poor countries: The impact on rural productivity and income distribution," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 1-24, January.
- G. Regmi & C. Tisdell, 2002. "Remitting Behaviour of Nepalese Rural-to-Urban Migrants: Implications for Theory and Policy," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(3), pages 76-94.
- Weiss, Andrew, 1988. "High School Graduation, Performance, and Wages," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 785-820, August.
- Burton A. Weisbrod, 1962. "Education and Investment in Human Capital," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 106.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.