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Human Capital In Growth Regressions: How Much Difference Does Data Quality Make?

  • ?gel de la Fuente
  • Rafael Dom?ech

We construct a revised version of the Barro and Lee (1996) data set for a sample of OECD countries using previously unexploited sources and following a heuristic approach to obtain plausible time profiles for attainment levels by removing sharp breaks in the data that seem to reflect changes in classification criteria. It is then shown that these revised data perform much better than the Barro and Lee (1996) or Nehru et al (1995) series in a number of growth specifications. We interpret these results as an indication that poor data quality may be behind counterintuitive findings in the recent literature on the (lack of) relationship between educational investment and growth. Using our preferred empirical specification, we also show that the contribution of TFP to cross-country productivity differentials is substantial and that its relative importance to differences in factor stocks increases over time.

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Paper provided by Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC) in its series UFAE and IAE Working Papers with number 446.00.

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  1. Caselli, Francesco & Esquivel, Gerardo & Lefort, Fernando, 1996. " Reopening the Convergence Debate: A New Look at Cross-Country Growth Empirics," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 363-89, September.
  2. Kyriacou, George A., 1991. "Level and Growth Effects of Human Capital: A Cross-Country Study of the Convergence Hypothesis," Working Papers 91-26, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  3. Peter Klenow & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 1997. "The Neoclassical Revival in Growth Economics: Has It Gone Too Far?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 73-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Griliches, Zvi & Hausman, Jerry A., 1986. "Errors in variables in panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 93-118, February.
  5. Malcolm D. Knight & Delano Villanueva & Norman Loayza, 1992. "Testing the Neoclassical Theory of Economic Growth; A Panel Data Approach," IMF Working Papers 92/106, International Monetary Fund.
  6. Behrman, Jere R. & Rosenzweig, Mark R., 1994. "Caveat emptor: Cross-country data on education and the labor force," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 147-171, June.
  7. Zvi Griliches, 1980. "R&D and the Productivity Slowdown," NBER Working Papers 0434, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Islam, Nazrul, 1995. "Growth Empirics: A Panel Data Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1127-70, November.
  9. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong-Wha, 1993. "International comparisons of educational attainment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 363-394, December.
  10. Jones, Charles I, 1997. " Convergence Revisited," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 131-53, July.
  11. Pritchett, Lant, 1996. "Where has all the education gone?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1581, The World Bank.
  12. Nehru, Vikram & Swanson, Eric & Dubey, Ashutosh, 1995. "A new database on human capital stock in developing and industrial countries: Sources, methodology, and results," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 379-401, April.
  13. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong Wha, 1996. "International Measures of Schooling Years and Schooling Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 218-23, May.
  14. Hamilton, James D. & Monteagudo, Josefina, 1998. "The augmented Solow model and the productivity slowdown," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 495-509, October.
  15. Edward C. Prescott, 1997. "Needed: a theory of total factor productivity," Staff Report 242, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  16. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong-Wha, 1994. "Sources of economic growth," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 1-46, June.
  17. Jonathan R. W. Temple, 1998. "Robustness tests of the augmented Solow model," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(4), pages 361-375.
  18. Lau, Lawrence J. & Jamison, Dean T. & Louat, Frederic F., 1991. "Education and productivity in developing countries : an aggregate production function approach," Policy Research Working Paper Series 612, The World Bank.
  19. Hilary Steedman, 1996. "Measuring the Quality of Educational Outputs: A Note," CEP Discussion Papers dp0302, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  20. Benhabib, Jess & Spiegel, Mark M., 1994. "The role of human capital in economic development evidence from aggregate cross-country data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 143-173, October.
  21. Mankiw, N Gregory & Romer, David & Weil, David N, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-37, May.
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