IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this book chapter

Working Smarter: Education and Productivity

In: The Review of Economic Performance and Social Progress 2002: Towards a Social Understanding of Productivity

Listed author(s):
  • Arthur Sweetman

    (Assistant Professor, School of Policy Studies, Queen's University)

Skills, innovation and human capital as they feature prominently on the policy agenda of industrialized countries concerned with productivity and competitiveness issues. Not surprisingly, formal education is the preferred and most conventional policy instrument of governments in pursuing these objectives. Indeed, "more is better" is often the guiding principle here. The actual linkages, however, are not as straightforward as they may appear. Certainly, there are gains to be achieved through a better understanding of the relationship between the skills developed through formal education and their causal impact on productivity, as well as a more nuanced approach to policy in this area. In this chapter, Arthur Sweetman points out, "the issue is not whether education has benefits but, rather, the magnitude of its 'true' benefits, the benefits relative to costs, and the distribution of costs and benefits. Sweetman examines three different sets of evidence, focusing on the impact of education on earnings at the individual level and on productivity at the macroeconomic level, and on issues related to the operation of the Canadian educational system.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

in new window

This chapter was published in:
This item is provided by Centre for the Study of Living Standards & The Institutute for Research on Public Policy in its series The Review of Economic Performance and Social Progress with number v:2:y:2002:asweet.
Handle: RePEc:sls:repsls:v:2:y:2002:asweet
Contact details of provider: Postal:
151 Slater Street, Suite 710, Ottawa, ON K1P 5H3

Phone: 613-233-8891
Fax: 613-233-8250
Web page:

More information through EDIRC


1470 Peel Street, Suite 200, Montreal, QC H3A 1T1

Web page:

Order Information: Web: Email:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sls:repsls:v:2:y:2002:asweet. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (CSLS)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.