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Sait-on mesurer le rôle économique de l'éducation ?

  • Marc Gurgand

[fre] Cet article tente de mettre en regard les principales observations empiriques concernant le rôle de l'éducation dans l'activité économique et souligne les contradictions impor- tantes qui existent entre certains résultats micro et macro-économiques. Notre connaissance de cette question est donc très imparfaite. Pour une part, des problèmes méthodologiques liés à la qualité des données peuvent expliquer les paradoxes qui sont présentés. Une piste apparaît cependant, qui met en avant l'importance de l'éducation dans les comportements d'innovation et dans la capacité des individus à allouer optimalement leurs ressources et à s'adapter aux transformations de l'environnement économique. Une telle approche, qui s'oppose au traitement de l'éducation comme un facteur homogène au capital physique ou au travail, permet de donner une cohérence à la littérature empirique récente. Mais l'interprétation des éléments disponibles reste encore incertaine et le champ est largement ouvert à la recherche tant théorique que méthodologique. [eng] This paper compares the main empirical information available on the economic effects of education and argues that significant contradiction is found between the micro and macro-economic littératures. It suggests that our knowledge is still very poor. To some extent, data issues may be the source of the puzzle. Yet, I argue that education is most important where innovation behavior is concerned and when ressources have to be reallocated in response to rapid economic change. In this perspective, education no longer stands as a factor of production comparable to physical capital and labor. Thus refi- ning our notion of the very reason why education may have some value in the economy results in better understanding of apparently contradictory empirical findings. Still, the field remains open to theoretical as well as methodological research effort.

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Article provided by Programme National Persée in its journal Revue française d'économie.

Volume (Year): 15 (2000)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 121-156

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Handle: RePEc:prs:rfreco:rfeco_0769-0479_2000_num_15_2_1492
Note: DOI:10.3406/rfeco.2000.1492
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