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The Kuznets curve of human capital inequality: 1870–2010

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  • Christian Morrisson
  • Fabrice Murtin

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Abstract

This paper describes the long-term global trends in education inequality since 1870. Inequality in years of schooling is shown to have mechanically decreased along with the decline in the share of illiterate people. In search of a monetary equivalent of years of schooling, we turn to Mincer ( 1974 ) human capital ineq uality. Within countries, we find evidence of an inverted U-shape curve for human capital inequality over time, namely a Kuznets curve for human capital. At the global level, the world inequality in human capital has followed a similar trajectory, first increasing from 1870 to 1970, then decreasing. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Morrisson & Fabrice Murtin, 2013. "The Kuznets curve of human capital inequality: 1870–2010," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 11(3), pages 283-301, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jecinq:v:11:y:2013:i:3:p:283-301
    DOI: 10.1007/s10888-012-9227-2
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:kap:jecgro:v:22:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10887-017-9145-z is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Shu Yu & Richard Jong-A-Pin, 2016. "Political leader survival: does competence matter?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 166(1), pages 113-142, January.
    3. repec:tou:journl:v:47:y:2018:p:97-124 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Claude DIEBOLT & Ralph HIPPE, 2017. "Regional human capital inequality in Europe in the long run, 1850-2010," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 45, pages 5-30.
    5. Jonathan Temple & Huikang Ying, 2014. "Life During Structural Transformation," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 14/650, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK, revised 08 Dec 2014.
    6. Rory Horner & David Hulme, 2017. "Converging divergence? Unpacking the new geography of 21st century global development," Global Development Institute Working Paper Series 102017, GDI, The University of Manchester.
    7. Mehmet Mercan & Ozlem Azer, 2013. "The Relationship between Economic Growth and Income Distribution in Turkey and the Turkish Republics of Central Asia and Caucasia: Dynamic Panel Data Analysis with Structural Breaks," Eurasian Economic Review, Springer;Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 3(2), pages 165-182, December.
    8. Aleknavičiūtė Rasa & Skvarciany Viktorija & Survilaitė Simona, 2016. "The Role of Human Capital for National Innovation Capability in Eu Countries," Economics and Culture, Sciendo, vol. 13(1), pages 114-125, June.
    9. Haixiao Wu, 2018. "Is There a Kuznets Curve for Intra-City Earnings Inequality?," Working Papers 2018-09, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
    10. Ralph Hippe & Roger Fouquet, 2015. "The human capital transition and the role of policy," GRI Working Papers 185, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    11. Jordá, Vanesa & Alonso, José M., 2017. "New Estimates on Educational Attainment Using a Continuous Approach (1970–2010)," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 281-293.
    12. Gustavo Javier Canavire-Bacarreza & Michael Jetter & Alejandra Montoya-Agudelo, 2016. "Polarized Education Levels and Civil War," CESifo Working Paper Series 6267, CESifo Group Munich.
    13. repec:bla:devchg:v:50:y:2019:i:2:p:347-378 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inequality; Human capital; Education; Kuznets curve; D31; E27; F02; N00; O40;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • E27 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration
    • N00 - Economic History - - General - - - General
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models

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