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Human Capital Policies: What they Can and Cannot Do for Productivity and Poverty Reduction in Latin America

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  • Suzanne Duryea
  • Carmen Pagés-Serra

    ()

Abstract

Raising labor productivity is recognized as a critical factor for increasing economic growth and reducing poverty levels in Latin America. Low levels of education continue to be singled out as the main obstacle to higher productivity in the region. We examine the scope for education to lift labor incomes above poverty levels in Latin America and find that in many countries education, by itself, has a positive, but limited, potential to increase wages above a minimum level. In general, the prospects are dim because progress in raising average schooling levels has been slow even under the best historical scenarios. We also examine whether the apparent failure of education can be explained by low wage returns to schooling, and poor underlying conditions. We find that investments in education continue to have important payoffs but poor underlying conditions explain the modest prospect for the role of education in the short run. This leads us to consider what additional policies should be pursued in order to ensure higher productivity for workers in the region.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department in its series Research Department Publications with number 4297.

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Date of creation: Apr 2002
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Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4297

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  1. Kristin Mammen & Christina Paxson, 2000. "Women's Work and Economic Development," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 141-164, Fall.
  2. Arturo Galindo, 2001. "Creditor Rights and the Credit Market: Where Do We Stand?," Research Department Publications 4259, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  3. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 1999. "Aggregating governance indicators," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2195, The World Bank.
  5. Anne Case & Motohiro Yogo, 1999. "Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Schools in South Africa," Working Papers 219, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  6. Alan B. Krueger & Mikael Lindahl, 2000. "Education for Growth: Why and For Whom?," NBER Working Papers 7591, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Miguel Székely, 2001. "The 1990s in Latin America: Another Decade of Persistent Inequality, but with Somewhat Lower Poverty," Research Department Publications 4271, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  8. David Card & Alan Krueger, 1996. "School Resources and Student Outcomes: An Overview of the Literature and New Evidence from North and South Carolina," Working Papers 745, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  9. Carlos Medina & Jairo Núñez, 2005. "The Impact of Public and Private Job Training in Colombia," IDB Publications 43318, Inter-American Development Bank.
  10. repec:fth:prinin:366 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Peter J. Klenow & Mark Bils, 2000. "Does Schooling Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1160-1183, December.
  12. Behrman, Jere R & Birdsall, Nancy, 1983. "The Quality of Schooling: Quantity Alone is Misleading," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 928-46, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Carmen Pagés-Serra & Marco Stampini, 2007. "¿Sin formación no hay buenos empleos? Elementos de juicio sobre la relación entre la formación y la segmentación del mercado laboral," Research Department Publications 4562, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  2. Maldonado, Jorge H. & González-Vega, Claudio, 2008. "Impact of Microfinance on Schooling: Evidence from Poor Rural Households in Bolivia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(11), pages 2440-2455, November.
  3. repec:idb:brikps:29678 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Hernán Winkler, 2005. "Monitoring the Socio-Economic Conditions in Uruguay," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0026, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
  5. Maurice Kugler, . "Migrant Remittances, Human Capital Formation and Job Creation Externalities in Colombia," Borradores de Economia 370, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
  6. Carmen Pagés-Serra & Marco Stampini, 2007. "No Education, No Good Jobs? Evidence on the Relationship between Education and Labor Market Segmentation," Research Department Publications 4561, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  7. Jorge Higinio Maldonado, 2005. "The Influence Of Microfinance On The Education Decisions Of Rural Households: Evidence From Bolivia," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 003606, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  8. Suzanne Duryea & Olga Lucia Jaramillo & Carmen Pagés-Serra, 2003. "Latin American Labor Markets in the 1990s: Deciphering the Decade," Research Department Publications 4331, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  9. World Bank, 2004. "Honduras : Investment Climate Assessment, Volume 2. Main Report," World Bank Other Operational Studies 14556, The World Bank.
  10. Kundu, Amit & Mukherjee, Arghya Kusum, 2011. "Impact of Swarnajayanti Gram Swarojgar Yojona on health, education and women empowerment," MPRA Paper 33258, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Jun 2011.
  11. Suzanne Duryea & Olga Lucia Jaramillo & Carmen Pagés-Serra, 2003. "Los mercados laborales latinoamericanos en los años 90: descifrar la década," Research Department Publications 4332, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.

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