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The efficiency of human capital allocations in developing countries

Listed author(s):
  • Vollrath, Dietrich

For a set of 14 developing countries I evaluate whether differences in wage gaps between sectors – estimated from individual-level wage data – have meaningful effects on aggregate productivity. Under the most generous assumptions regarding the homogeneity of human capital, my analysis shows that eliminating wedges between wages in different sectors leads to gains in output of less than 5% for most countries. These estimated gains of reallocation represent an upper bound as some of the observed differences in wages are due to unmeasured human capital. Under reasonable assumptions on the amount of unmeasured human capital the gains from reallocation fall well below 3%. Compared to similar estimates made using data from the U.S., developing countries would gain more from a reallocation of human capital, but the differences are too small to account for a meaningful portion of the gap in income per capita with the United States.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 108 (2014)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 106-118

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:108:y:2014:i:c:p:106-118
DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2014.01.009
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec

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