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Human Capital, Technology Adoption and Development

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  • Cosar A. Kerem

    () (University of Chicago Booth School of Business)

Abstract

This paper presents a model of development in which skilled labor is an input in technology adoption. The model combines Nelson and Phelps (1966) type technology dynamics with a growth model in which intermediate goods are used to produce a final good. The intermediate good producers hire skilled labor to increase their productivity by adopting techniques from an exogenously evolving stock of world knowledge. I solve for the stationary equilibrium and derive analytic expressions for steady state income level and wage premium. In a quantitative exercise, I calibrate the model and compare its predictions with data. The model successfully accounts for cross-country income differences and within-country wage premia on skilled labor. These results strengthen the idea that different types of human capital perform separate tasks and should not be aggregated into a single stock of human capital in development accounting exercises. The availability of skilled labor is potentially much more important for development than such aggregative exercises have so far suggested.

Suggested Citation

  • Cosar A. Kerem, 2011. "Human Capital, Technology Adoption and Development," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-41, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejmac:v:11:y:2011:i:1:n:5
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Restuccia, Diego & Urrutia, Carlos, 2001. "Relative prices and investment rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 93-121, February.
    2. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 71-102, October.
    3. Hashmi, Aamir Rafique, 2013. "Intangible Capital And International Income Differences," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(03), pages 621-645, April.
    4. Psacharopoulos, George, 1994. "Returns to investment in education: A global update," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(9), pages 1325-1343, September.
    5. repec:kap:iaecre:v:10:y:2004:i:4:p:257-264 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Chris Papageorgiou, 2003. "Distinguishing Between the Effects of Primary and Post-primary Education on Economic Growth," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(4), pages 622-635, November.
    7. Miguel-Angel Martín & Agustín Herranz, 2004. "Human capital and economic growth in Spanish regions," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 10(4), pages 257-264, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Das, Gouranga Gopal, 2015. "Why some countries are slow in acquiring new technologies? A model of trade-led diffusion and absorption," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 65-91.
    2. Dohse, Dirk & Ott, Ingrid, 2014. "Heterogenous skills, growth and convergence," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 52-67.

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