Human capital accumulation in R&D-based growth models
This paper develops a model that reproduces the essential aspects of the recent ICT-based economy using the framework of endogenous growth theory in which a central role is played by human capital accumulation. In particular, it considers a multi-sectoral growth model in discrete time with infinite horizon, endogenous growth, embodied technological progress, horizontal differentiation and “lab-equipment” specification of R&D, and with human capital accumulation (represented by the fact that households devote a fraction of their time to schooling), in order to take into account the crucial role of the latter when new technologies are present. In this model it is possible to obtain some important results, both analytically and through simulations, either in the case of constant productivity of schooling and in the case in which this productivity is a function of technological progress. The first conclusion is that the productivity of schooling affects the long run growth of the economy, contrary to the productivities of the other sectors, hence in this model human capital accumulation is the true engine of growth. It is then possible to study the reaction of the economy to different types of shocks, and to compare the results with the empirical evidence. The conclusion is that the model is able to reproduce such evidence, suggesting that the interaction between ICT and human capital is one of the drivers of the recent economic performance.
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