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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 index numbers by minimizing the expected estimation error subject to some search 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.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 1149.

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Date of creation: Mar 1995
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1149

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Related research

Keywords: Divisia Index; Human Capital; Index Numbers; Multilateral Comparisons; Travelling Saleman Problem;

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  1. Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1992. "Transitional Dynamics in Two-Sector Models of Endogenous Growth," NBER Working Papers 3986, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 1993. "International Comparisons of Educational Attainment," NBER Working Papers 4349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Barro, R.J., 1989. "Economic Growth In A Cross Section Of Countries," RCER Working Papers 201, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  5. Diewert, W. E., 1976. "Exact and superlative index numbers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 115-145, May.
  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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