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Measuring Aggregate Human Capital

  • Mulligan, Casey B
  • Sala-i-Martin, Xavier

We construct a set of human capital indexes for the states of the United States for each census year starting in 1940. To do so, we propose a new methodology for the construction of index numbers in panel data sets. Our method is based on an optimal approach by which we choose the "best" set of index numbers by minimizing the expected estimation error subject to some research constraints. Some of the empirical findings are that the stock of human capital in the United States grew twice as rapidly as the average years of schooling and that human capital inequality across states went up during the 1980s (while the dispersion of schooling actually fell). We conclude that using the average years of schooling for the empirical study of existing growth models may be misleading. Copyright 2000 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Economic Growth.

Volume (Year): 5 (2000)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 215-52

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jecgro:v:5:y:2000:i:3:p:215-52
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  1. Barro, R.J., 1989. "Economic Growth In A Cross Section Of Countries," RCER Working Papers 201, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  2. Mulligan, Casey B & Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1993. "Transitional Dynamics in Two-Sector Models of Endogenous Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 739-73, August.
  3. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 1993. "International Comparisons of Educational Attainment," NBER Working Papers 4349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Summers, Robert & Heston, Alan, 1991. "The Penn World Table (Mark 5): An Expanded Set of International Comparisons, 1950-1988," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 327-68, May.
  5. Diewert, W. E., 1976. "Exact and superlative index numbers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 115-145, May.
  6. Kravis, Irving B, 1984. "Comparative Studies of National Incomes and Prices," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 22(1), pages 1-39, March.
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