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Education, Social Equality and Economic Growth: A View of the Landscape

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  • Thorvaldur Gylfason
  • Gylfi Zoega

Abstract

Education has been one of the key determinants of economic growth around the world since 1965. In this paper, we discuss three different measures of education, and consider their relationship to the distribution of income as measured by the Gini coefficient as well as to economic growth across countries. The three measures are: (a) gross secondary-school enrolment, (b) public expenditure on education relative to national income and (c) expected years of schooling for girls. We show that all three measures of education are directly related to income equality across countries. In a sample of 87 countries at all income levels, we also find that more and better education appears to encourage economic growth directly as well as indirectly through increased social equality and cohesion. Our regression results survive the introduction of regional dummy variables for Africa, Asia and Central and South America. We argue that the empirical relationship between education, on the one hand, and growth and equality, on the other hand, can help account for the positive correlation between the two latter variables that has been documented in the literature.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 876.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_876

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  1. Galor, Oded & Zeira, Joseph, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52, January.
  2. Gylfason, Thorvaldur, 2001. "Natural resources, education, and economic development," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 847-859, May.
  3. Aghion, Philippe & Caroli, Eve & Garcia-Penalosa, Cecilia, 1999. "Inequality and economic growth: the perspective of the new growth theories," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9908, CEPREMAP.
  4. Aghion, Philippe & Garcia-Peñalosa, Cecilia & Caroli, Eve, 1998. "Inequality and economic growth," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/10096, Paris Dauphine University.
  5. Persson, T. & Tabellini, G., 1993. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth," Papers 537, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  6. Perotti, Roberto, 1996. " Growth, Income Distribution, and Democracy: What the Data Say," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 149-87, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Badiane, Ousmane & Ulimwengu, John, 2009. "The growth-poverty convergence agenda: Optimizing social expenditures to maximize their impact on agricultural labor productivity, growth, and poverty reduction in Africa," IFPRI discussion papers 906, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  2. Asplund, Rita, 2004. "A Macroeconomic Perspective on Education and Inequality," Discussion Papers 906, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  3. Digdowiseiso, Kumba, 2009. "Education inequality, economic growth, and income inequality: Evidence from Indonesia, 1996-2005," MPRA Paper 17792, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Machado, Fabiana, 2011. "Does Inequality breed Altruism or Selfishness? Gauging Individuals’ Predispositions Towards Redistributive Schemes," MPRA Paper 35664, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Álvaro Hurtado Rendón & Luis Alfredo Molina, 2012. "Inestabilidad institucional, evidencia para Colombia: la violencia y el crecimiento económico en el periodo 1950-2010," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO CIEF 010572, UNIVERSIDAD EAFIT.

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