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Literacy and Growth

Author

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  • Coulombe Serge

    () (University of Ottawa)

  • Tremblay Jean-François

    () (University of Ottawa)

Abstract

From the demographic profile of the 1994-1998 International Adult Literacy Survey, we derive synthetic time series over the 19601995 period on the literacy level of labor market entrants. This information is then used as a measure of investment in education in a two-way error correction panel data analysis of cross-country growth for a set of 14 OECD countries. The analysis indicates that direct measures of human capital based on literacy scores contain more information about the relative growth of countries than measures based on years of schooling. The results show that, overall, human capital indicators based on literacy scores have a positive and significant effect on the transitory growth path and on the long-run levels of GDP per capita and labor productivity. Quantitatively, our results indicate that the skills associated with one extra year of schooling increase aggregate labor productivity by approximately 7 %, which is consistent with microeconomic evidence (Psacharopoulos, 1994). Moreover, we find that investment in the human capital of women is more important for growth than investment in the human capital of men and that increasing the average literacy skills over all individuals has a greater effect on growth than increasing the percentage of individuals that achieve high levels of literacy skills.

Suggested Citation

  • Coulombe Serge & Tremblay Jean-François, 2006. "Literacy and Growth," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(2), pages 1-34, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejmac:v:topics.6:y:2006:i:2:n:4
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    1. Čemu služi Obrazovanje – Odgovor prof. Šikiću
      by cronomy in Cronomy on 2012-05-04 07:26:58

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    Cited by:

    1. Eric Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2012. "Do better schools lead to more growth? Cognitive skills, economic outcomes, and causation," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 267-321, December.
    2. Nadir Altinok & Claude Diebolt & Jean-Luc Demeulemeester, 2014. "A new international database on education quality: 1965--2010," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(11), pages 1212-1247, April.
    3. Docquier, Frédéric & Marfouk, Abdeslam & Salomone, Sara & Sekkat, Khalid, 2012. "Are Skilled Women More Migratory than Skilled Men?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 251-265.
    4. Michel Beine & Sara Salomone, 2010. "Migration and Networks: Does Education Matter more than Gender?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3010, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Jean Luc De Meulemeester & Claude Diebolt, 2007. "Education et croissance: quel lien pour quelle politique?," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/13544, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    6. Hanushek, Eric A. & Woessmann, Ludger, 2011. "The Economics of International Differences in Educational Achievement," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    7. Artuc, Erhan & Docquier, Frédéric & Özden, Çaglar & Parsons, Christopher, 2015. "A Global Assessment of Human Capital Mobility: The Role of Non-OECD Destinations," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 6-26.
    8. Altinok, Nadir & Aydemir, Abdurrahman, 2017. "Does one size fit all? The impact of cognitive skills on economic growth," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 176-190.
    9. Frederic, DOCQUIER & B. Lindsay, LOWELL & Abdeslam, MARFOUK, 2007. "A gendered assessment of the brain drain," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2007045, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
    10. Eric A. Hanushek, 2008. "Incentives for Efficiency and Equity in the School System," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 9(s1), pages 5-27, May.
    11. Serge Coulombe & Jean-Francois Tremblay, 2009. "Education, Productivity and Economic Growth: A Selective Review of the Evidence," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 18, pages 3-24, Spring.
    12. Serge Coulombe & Gilles Grenier & Serge Nadeau, 2014. "Quality of Work Experience and Economic Development: Estimates Using Canadian Immigrant Data," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(3), pages 199-234.
    13. Jean-Luc Demeulemeester & Claude Diebolt, 2011. "Education and Growth: What Links for Which Policy?," Historical Social Research (Section 'Cliometrics'), Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 36(4), pages 323-346.
    14. Pierre-Richard Agénor & Madina Agénor, 2014. "Infrastructure, women’s time allocation, and economic development," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 113(1), pages 1-30, September.
    15. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2008. "The Role of Cognitive Skills in Economic Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(3), pages 607-668, September.
    16. Benos, Nikos & Karagiannis, Stelios & Karkalakos, Sotiris, 2015. "Proximity and growth spillovers in European regions: The role of geographical, economic and technological linkages," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 124-139.
    17. Karama, Dalal, 2014. "Ease of Doing Business: Emphasis on Corruption and Rule of Law," MPRA Paper 58662, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Jörg Baten & Johan Fourie, 2012. "Slave numeracy in the Cape Colony and comparative development in the eighteenth century," Working Papers 270, Economic Research Southern Africa.
    19. Mutascu, Mihai & Danuletiu, Dan, 2013. "The literacy impact on tax revenues," Economics Discussion Papers 2013-63, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).

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