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Human Capital And Productivity Growth In The Italian Regional Economies: A Sectoral Analysis

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  • S. Lodde

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Abstract

The paper examines the relationship between human capital and productivity growth with reference to the Italian regions. Two approaches can be distinguished. One belonging to the neoclassical tradition stresses the accumulation of human capital as a determinant of growth, while the other, inspired by Nelson and Phelps, emphasizes the role of the stock in developing endogenous technology and catching up with more advanced economies. These hypotheses have been tested at an aggregate level but results might be the overall outcome of different processes across sectors due to the different catching-up potential. In particular we expect the Nelson-Phelps hypothesis to be more relevant in the industrial sector where innovation is the most important growth determinant. A model is estimated which allows to test both the neoclassical and the Nelson-Phelps hypotheses breaking down the analysis by sector. The results do not confirm our expectations. In the industrial sector the neoclassical hypothesis is clearly rejected by the data. Some evidence supporting the Schumpeterian one can be detected when the technical component of human capital is taken into account but it is not robust to changes in the model specification. In the service sector the results are inconclusive as well. A positive and significant effect of human capital accumulation has been found for the whole sector but the explanatory power of this variable decreases considerably in the marketable services branch.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia in its series Working Paper CRENoS with number 200711.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cns:cnscwp:200711

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Keywords: growth; human capital; regions; sectors;

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References

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  1. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker Than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116, February.
  2. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  3. 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, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 143-173, October.
  4. Psacharopoulos, George, 1993. "Returns to investment in education : a global update," Policy Research Working Paper Series, The World Bank 1067, The World Bank.
  5. Nonneman, Walter & Vanhoudt, Patrick, 1996. "A Further Augmentation of the Solow Model and the Empirics of Economic Growth for OECD Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 111(3), pages 943-53, August.
  6. Islam, Nazrul, 1995. "Growth Empirics: A Panel Data Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1127-70, November.
  7. Pritchett, Lant, 2000. "Understanding Patterns of Economic Growth: Searching for Hills among Plateaus, Mountains, and Plains," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, World Bank Group, vol. 14(2), pages 221-50, May.
  8. Alan B. Krueger & Mikael Lindahl, 2000. "Education for Growth: Why and For Whom?," NBER Working Papers 7591, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Mankiw, N Gregory & Romer, David & Weil, David N, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-37, May.
  10. Di Liberto, Adriana, 2008. "Education and Italian regional development," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 94-107, February.
  11. Lucifora, Claudio & Comi, Simona & Brunello, Giorgio, 2000. "The Returns to Education in Italy: A New Look at the Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 130, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Peter Klenow & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 1997. "The Neoclassical Revival in Growth Economics: Has It Gone Too Far?," NBER Chapters, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 73-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Giorgio D'Agostino & Margherita Scarlato, 2011. "Innovation, Growth and Quality of Life: a Theoretical Model and an Estimate for the Italian Regions," Departmental Working Papers of Economics - University 'Roma Tre', Department of Economics - University Roma Tre 0138, Department of Economics - University Roma Tre.

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