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An alternative interpretation of 'average years of education' in growth regressions


  • Peter Foldvari
  • Bas van Leeuwen


The majority of the empirical literature uses average years of education as a proxy of the human capital stock. Based on Lucas (1988) we argue that the level of average years of education can also be seen as a proxy for the growth rate of the per capita human capital stock. This has fundamental impact on the interpretation of the coefficient and may explain some of the contradictory empirical results.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Foldvari & Bas van Leeuwen, 2009. "An alternative interpretation of 'average years of education' in growth regressions," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(9), pages 945-949.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:apeclt:v:16:y:2009:i:9:p:945-949 DOI: 10.1080/13504850701222178

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Eckstein, Zvi & van den Berg, Gerard J., 2007. "Empirical labor search: A survey," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 136(2), pages 531-564, February.
    2. Uhlendorff, Arne, 2006. "From No Pay to Low Pay and Back Again? A Multi-State Model of Low Pay Dynamics," IZA Discussion Papers 2482, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Viktor Steiner & Katharina Wrohlich, 2004. "Household Taxation, Income Splitting and Labor Supply Incentives – A Microsimulation Study for Germany," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 50(3), pages 541-568.
    4. Hogan, Vincent, 2004. "Wage aspirations and unemployment persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(8), pages 1623-1643, November.
    5. Eswar S Prasad, 2003. "What Determines the Reservation Wages of Unemployed Workers? New Evidence From German Micro Data," IMF Working Papers 03/4, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Heckman, James J, 1974. "Shadow Prices, Market Wages, and Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 42(4), pages 679-694, July.
    7. Eckstein, Zvi & Mortensen, Dale T., 2006. "Labor search," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 807-810, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bofota, Youyou Baende & Boucekkine, Raouf & Bala, Alain Pholo, 2016. "Social Capital As An Engine Of Growth: Multisectoral Modeling And Implications," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(08), pages 2093-2122, December.
    2. Panagiotis Pegkas, 2012. "Educational stock and economic growth The case of Greece over the period 1981-2009," SPOUDAI Journal of Economics and Business, SPOUDAI Journal of Economics and Business, University of Piraeus, vol. 62(1-2), pages 56-71, January -.
    3. Benos, Nikos & Zotou, Stefania, 2014. "Education and Economic Growth: A Meta-Regression Analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 669-689.
    4. repec:elg:eechap:14395_21 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Hallonsten, Jan Simon & Ziesemer, Thomas, 2016. "A semi-endogenous growth model for developing countries with public factors, imported capital goods, and limited export demand," MERIT Working Papers 004, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).

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