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Education, Social Equality and Economic Growth: A View of the Landscape

Author

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  • Thorvaldur Gylfason
  • Gylfi Zoega

Abstract

Education has been one of the key determinants of economic growth around the world since 1965. In this paper, we discuss three different measures of education, and consider their relationship to the distribution of income as measured by the Gini coefficient as well as to economic growth across countries. The three measures are: (a) gross secondary-school enrolment, (b) public expenditure on education relative to national income and (c) expected years of schooling for girls. We show that all three measures of education are directly related to income equality across countries. In a sample of 87 countries at all income levels, we also find that more and better education appears to encourage economic growth directly as well as indirectly through increased social equality and cohesion. Our regression results survive the introduction of regional dummy variables for Africa, Asia and Central and South America. We argue that the empirical relationship between education, on the one hand, and growth and equality, on the other hand, can help account for the positive correlation between the two latter variables that has been documented in the literature. (JEL 128, O15, O40)

Suggested Citation

  • Thorvaldur Gylfason & Gylfi Zoega, 2003. "Education, Social Equality and Economic Growth: A View of the Landscape," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 49(4), pages 557-579.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cesifo:v:49:y:2003:i:4:p:557-579.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/cesifo/49.4.557
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gylfason, Thorvaldur, 2001. "Natural resources, education, and economic development," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 847-859, May.
    2. Cecilia Garcia-Penalosa & Eve Caroli & Philippe Aghion, 1999. "Inequality and Economic Growth: The Perspective of the New Growth Theories," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1615-1660, December.
    3. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52.
    4. repec:dau:papers:123456789/10096 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:dau:papers:123456789/10091 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 600-621, June.
    7. Perotti, Roberto, 1996. "Growth, Income Distribution, and Democracy: What the Data Say," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 149-187, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Mark Gradstein & Era Dabla-Norris, 2004. "The Distributional Bias of Public Education; Causes and Consequences," IMF Working Papers 04/214, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Asplund, Rita, 2004. "A Macroeconomic Perspective on Education and Inequality," Discussion Papers 906, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    3. Wasim Qazi & Syed Raza & Syed Jawaid, 2014. "Higher education and growth performance of Pakistan: evidence from multivariate framework," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 48(3), pages 1651-1665, May.
    4. Digdowiseiso, Kumba, 2009. "Education inequality, economic growth, and income inequality: Evidence from Indonesia, 1996-2005," MPRA Paper 17792, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Lingaraj MALLICK & Pradeep Kumar DAS & Kalandi Charan PRADHAN, 2016. "Impact of educational expenditure on economic growth in major Asian countries: Evidence from econometric analysis," Theoretical and Applied Economics, Asociatia Generala a Economistilor din Romania - AGER, vol. 0(2(607), S), pages 173-186, Summer.
    6. repec:eee:wdevel:v:95:y:2017:i:c:p:177-195 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Machado, Fabiana, 2011. "Does Inequality breed Altruism or Selfishness? Gauging Individuals’ Predispositions Towards Redistributive Schemes," MPRA Paper 35664, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Burcu Kiran, 2014. "Testing the impact of educational expenditures on economic growth: new evidence from Latin American countries," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 48(3), pages 1181-1190, May.
    9. Dastjerdi, Rasul Bakhshi & Isfahani, Rahim Dalali, 2011. "Equity and economic growth, a theoretical and empirical study: MENA zone," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(1-2), pages 694-700, January.
    10. Álvaro Hurtado Rendón & Luis Alfredo Molina, 2012. "Inestabilidad institucional, evidencia para Colombia: la violencia y el crecimiento económico en el periodo 1950-2010," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO CIEF 010572, UNIVERSIDAD EAFIT.
    11. Badiane, Ousmane & Ulimwengu, John, 2009. "The growth-poverty convergence agenda: Optimizing social expenditures to maximize their impact on agricultural labor productivity, growth, and poverty reduction in Africa," IFPRI discussion papers 906, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    12. Almanzar, Miguel & Torero, Maximo, 2017. "Distributional Effects of Growth and Public Expenditures in Africa: Estimates for Tanzania and Rwanda," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 177-195.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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