IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Literacy and Growth

Listed author(s):
  • Coulombe Serge


    (University of Ottawa)

  • Tremblay Jean-François


    (University of Ottawa)

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.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: For access to full text, subscription to the journal or payment for the individual article is required.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 6 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 (August)
Pages: 1-34

in new window

Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejmac:v:topics.6:y:2006:i:2:n:4
Contact details of provider: Web page:

Order Information: Web:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bpj:bejmac:v:topics.6:y:2006:i:2:n:4. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Peter Golla)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.