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Education and Development: Measuring the Social Benefits


  • McMahon, Walter W.

    (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)


This book develops a new approach to measuring the total returns to human resource development through investment in education. Drawing on microanalytic foundations, it uses regional and worldwide data to estimate the net marginal contributions of education and new knowledge both to economic growth and to wider effects on democratization, human rights, political stability, health, longevity, net population growth rates, reduction of poverty, inequality in income distribution, crime, drug use, and the environment. Externalities including indirect and delayed effects are identified and measured for these market and non-market returns. The total impacts of education policy changes on endogenous development are then estimated for several East Asian, Latin American, African, and industrialized nations using an interactive model. This new approach is important to industrialized and developing countries alike. The diffusion of knowledge and the adaptation of new techniques has been identified as crucial to the growth process in the new endogenous growth models, and is of increasing strategic importance in current knowledge-based globalizing economies. Similarly, the non-monetary returns from education are important in improving human welfare. Measurement of these non-market returns is a crucial but much neglected subject. It has proved frustrating, and existing microanalytic measures have proved piecemeal. The new approach developed here offers some comprehensive estimates and simulation techniques for finding more cost-effective policies, and also suggests new hypotheses for further microanalytic testing.

Suggested Citation

  • McMahon, Walter W., 2002. "Education and Development: Measuring the Social Benefits," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199250721.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxp:obooks:9780199250721

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    Cited by:

    1. Azam, Mehtabul & Kingdon, Geeta Gandhi, 2013. "Are Girls the Fairer Sex in India? Revisiting Intra-Household Allocation of Education Expenditure," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 143-164.
    2. Elizabeth N. Appiah, 2017. "The Effect of Education Expenditure on Per Capita GDP in Developing Countries," International Journal of Economics and Finance, Canadian Center of Science and Education, vol. 9(10), pages 136-144, October.
    3. Myriam Patricia Cifuentes & Soledad A. Fernandez, 2017. "Education's Complexity in the Context of Human Development," Systems Research and Behavioral Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(3), pages 277-288, May.
    4. McMahon, Walter W., 2018. "The total return to higher education: Is there underinvestment for economic growth and development?," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 90-111.
    5. Konara, Palitha & Wei, Yingqi, 2019. "The complementarity of human capital and language capital in foreign direct investment," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 391-404.
    6. Kristinn Hermannsson & Katerina Lisenkova & Patrizio Lecca & Peter G. McGregor & J. Kim Swales, 2017. "The external benefits of higher education," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(7), pages 1077-1088, July.
    7. Gergely Harsányi & Szilvia Vincze, 2012. "Characteristics of Hungarian Higher Education in an International Perspective," Public Finance Quarterly, State Audit Office of Hungary, vol. 57(2), pages 213-233.
    8. Boopen SEETANAH & viraiyan teeroovengadum, 2017. "Higher Education and Economic Growth: Evidence from Africa," Proceedings of Economics and Finance Conferences 4807254, International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences.
    9. Kamakshya Trivedi, 2006. "Educational human capital and levels of income: Evidence from states in India, 1965 - 92," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(8), pages 1350-1378.
    10. Somlanaré Romuald Kinda, 2011. "Education, Convergence and Carbon Dioxide Growth per Capita," Post-Print halshs-00684315, HAL.
    11. Kwabena Gyimah-Brempong & Oliver Paddison & Workie Mitiku, 2006. "Higher education and economic growth in Africa," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(3), pages 509-529.
    12. Jasmina Osmankovic & Hatidza Jahic & Ensar Sehic, 2011. "Education In Economic Theory," Economic Review: Journal of Economics and Business, University of Tuzla, Faculty of Economics, vol. 9(1), pages 63-78.
    13. Walter W Mcmahon, 2007. "An Analysis Of Education Externalities With Applications To Development In The Deep South," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 25(3), pages 459-482, July.
    14. Daren, Conrad, 2007. "Education and Economic Growth: Is There a Link?," MPRA Paper 18176, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2009.

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