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Does Education Matter for Economic Growth?

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  • Michael S. Delgado
  • Daniel J. Henderson
  • Christopher F. Parmeter

Abstract

type="main" xml:id="obes12025-abs-0001"> Empirical growth regressions typically include mean years of schooling as a proxy for human capital. However, empirical research often finds that the sign and significance of schooling depends on the sample of observations or the specification of the model. We use a non-parametric local-linear regression estimator and a non-parametric variable relevance test to conduct a rigorous and systematic search for significance of mean years of schooling by examining five of the most comprehensive schooling databases. Contrary to a few recent articles that have identified significant nonlinearities between education and growth, our results suggest that mean years of schooling is not a statistically relevant variable in growth regressions. However, we do find evidence (within a cross-sectional framework), that educational achievement, measured by mean test scores, may provide a more reliable measure of human capital than mean years of schooling.

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  • Michael S. Delgado & Daniel J. Henderson & Christopher F. Parmeter, 2014. "Does Education Matter for Economic Growth?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 76(3), pages 334-359, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:obuest:v:76:y:2014:i:3:p:334-359
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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