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Stuck in the middle ? human capital development and economic growth in Malaysia and Thailand

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  • Jimenez, Emmanuel
  • Nguyen, Vy
  • Patrinos, Harry Anthony

Abstract

The challenge of sustaining economic growth over the long term is one that only a few countries have been able to surmount. Slowing momentum in countries like Malaysia and Thailand has led analysts and policy makers to consider what it would take to lift them out of middle-income status, where other countries have arguably become stuck. The paper examines the role of human capital formation in the quest to sustain economic growth in these two countries. It argues that a good education system is fundamental to equip workers with marketable skills. Malaysia and Thailand have successfully expanded access to schooling, but the quality of education remains an issue. Modern education systems should aim to provide universally-available quality education using the following policies: prioritize budgets to deliver quality and universally-available basic education before expanding higher levels of schooling; provide appropriate incentives and rewards to teachers; permit school autonomy and ensure accountability for results; invest in early childhood development; and consider implementing income-contingent loan financing schemes to expand higher education.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6283.

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Date of creation: 01 Nov 2012
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6283

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Keywords: Education For All; Primary Education; Access&Equity in Basic Education; Teaching and Learning; Tertiary Education;

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  1. Chapman, Bruce, 2006. "Income Contingent Loans for Higher Education: International Reforms," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier, Elsevier.
  2. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
  3. James J. Heckman & Dimitriy V. Masterov, 2007. "The Productivity Argument for Investing in Young Children," NBER Working Papers 13016, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Hanushek, Eric A. & Wößmann, Ludger, 2008. "The role of cognitive skills in economic development," Munich Reprints in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics 20454, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  5. Chapman, Bruce, 1997. "Conceptual Issues and the Australian Experience with Income Contingent Charges for Higher Education," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(442), pages 738-51, May.
  6. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  7. World Bank, 2012. "Learning Outcomes in Thailand : What Can We Learn from International Assessments?," World Bank Other Operational Studies 2723, The World Bank.
  8. Bruce Chapman & David Greenaway, 2006. "Learning to Live with Loans? International Policy Transfer and the Funding of Higher Education," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(8), pages 1057-1075, 08.
  9. Banerjee, Abhijit & Duflo, Esther, 2007. "What is Middle Class about the Middle Classes Around the World?," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 6613, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Hawley, Joshua D., 2004. "Changing returns to education in times of prosperity and crisis, Thailand 1985-1998," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 273-286, June.
  11. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," NBER Working Papers 12006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Dynarski, Mark, 1994. "Who defaults on student loans? Findings from the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 55-68, March.
  13. George Psacharopoulos & Harry Anthony Patrinos, 2004. "Returns to investment in education: a further update," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(2), pages 111-134.
  14. Easterly, William, 2001. " The Middle Class Consensus and Economic Development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 317-35, December.
  15. Ismail, Ramlee, 2007. "The Impact of Schooling Reform on Returns to Education in Malaysia," MPRA Paper 15021, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 29 Jan 2008.
  16. Commission on Growth and Development, 2008. "The Growth Report : Strategies for Sustained Growth and Inclusive Development," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6507, August.
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