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Human Capital, Fertility, and Economic Growth

In: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition)

  • Gary S. Becker
  • Kevin M. Murphy
  • Robert Tamura

Our model of growth departs from both the Malthusian and neoclassical approaches by including investments in human capital. We assume, crucially, that rates of return on human capital investments rise, rather than, decline, as the stock of human capital increases, until the stock becomes large. This arises because the education sector uses human capital note intensively than either the capital producing sector of the goods producing sector. This produces multiple steady scares: an undeveloped steady stare with little human capital, low rates of return on human capital investments and high fertility, and a developed steady stats with higher rates of return a large, and, perhaps, growing stock of human capital and low fertility. Multiple steady states mean that history and luck are critical determinants of a country's growth experience.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Gary S. Becker, 1994. "Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition)," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck94-1, December.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 11239.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:11239
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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    1. Gary S. Becker & Robert J. Barro, . "A Reformulation of the Economic Theory of Fertility," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 85-11, Chicago - Population Research Center.
    2. Theodore W. Schultz, 1960. "Capital Formation by Education," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 68, pages 571.
    3. David, Paul A, 1985. "Clio and the Economics of QWERTY," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 332-37, May.
    4. Tamura, R., 1991. "Fertility , Human Capital and the "Wealth of Nations"," Working Papers 91-17, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
    5. Barro, Robert J, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-43, May.
    6. Heckman, James J, 1976. "A Life-Cycle Model of Earnings, Learning, and Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages S11-44, August.
    7. Rosen, Sherwin, 1976. "A Theory of Life Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages S45-67, August.
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