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Human capital and regional convergence in Canada

  • Serge Coulombe
  • Jean-François Tremblay

Proposes an empirical analysis of regional convergence in Canada based on the growth model of Barro et al. In an open economy with perfect capital mobility, if domestic residents cannot borrow abroad with human capital as collateral, the dynamics of human capital accumulation is the driving force of per capita income growth. Empirical results indicate that, as predicted by the theoretical model, various indicators of the stock of human capital did converge at the same speed as per capita income during the 1951-1996 period. A substantial part of the relative growth of per capita income indicators across Canadian provinces since the early 1950s could be explained by the convergence process of human capital indicators based on the percentage of the population, both sexes and males, who have at least a university degree. The estimates of the human capital share in national income based on those indicators are in the neighbourhood of 0.5, a number consistent with other measures of the implicit income share of human capital. The convergence speed of per capita income at the regional level might have been two to three times faster, if all persons had invested in education at the same rate as the young.

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Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal Journal of Economic Studies.

Volume (Year): 28 (2001)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 154-180

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Handle: RePEc:eme:jespps:v:28:y:2001:i:3:p:154-180
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