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Structural change and human capital in Italy’s productive economy

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Author Info

  • Roberto Torrini

    ()
    (Bank of Italy and ANVUR)

  • Fabiano Schivardi

    ()
    (Cagliari University and EIEF)

Abstract

We study the role of human capital in the restructuring of the Italian economy. The share of university graduates in the population has long been far lower in Italy (12 per cent in 2007) that in the rest of Europe (24 per cent). The 3+2 reform of Italian degree programmes has significantly increased the supply of graduates, mostly absorbed by the private sector. Firm-level evidence shows that the growth in graduate employment is due almost entirely to a “within” firm component rather than to a shift of the productive structure from low to high human capital activities. We also find that a higher share of university graduates at local level is positively associated with restructuring activities and with productivity growth. This suggests that increasing the workforce’s level of educational attainment is crucial to overcome the stagnation in productivity that has characterized the Italian economy since the mid-nineties.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) with number 108.

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Date of creation: Nov 2011
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Handle: RePEc:bdi:opques:qef_108_11

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Keywords: human capital; tertiary education; firm restructuring; growth;

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