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Human Capital And Productivity Growth In The Italian Regional Economies: A Sectoral Analysis


  • S. Lodde



The paper examines the relationship between human capital and productivity growth with reference to the Italian regions. Two approaches can be distinguished. One belonging to the neoclassical tradition stresses the accumulation of human capital as a determinant of growth, while the other, inspired by Nelson and Phelps, emphasizes the role of the stock in developing endogenous technology and catching up with more advanced economies. These hypotheses have been tested at an aggregate level but results might be the overall outcome of different processes across sectors due to the different catching-up potential. In particular we expect the Nelson-Phelps hypothesis to be more relevant in the industrial sector where innovation is the most important growth determinant. A model is estimated which allows to test both the neoclassical and the Nelson-Phelps hypotheses breaking down the analysis by sector. The results do not confirm our expectations. In the industrial sector the neoclassical hypothesis is clearly rejected by the data. Some evidence supporting the Schumpeterian one can be detected when the technical component of human capital is taken into account but it is not robust to changes in the model specification. In the service sector the results are inconclusive as well. A positive and significant effect of human capital accumulation has been found for the whole sector but the explanatory power of this variable decreases considerably in the marketable services branch.

Suggested Citation

  • S. Lodde, 2007. "Human Capital And Productivity Growth In The Italian Regional Economies: A Sectoral Analysis," Working Paper CRENoS 200711, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
  • Handle: RePEc:cns:cnscwp:200711

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. d'Agostino, Giorgio & Scarlato, Margherita, 2011. "Innovation, Growth and Quality of Life: a Theoretical Model and an Estimate for the Italian Regions," MPRA Paper 31939, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Amitrajeet Batabyal & Peter Nijkamp, 2014. "Innovation, Decentralization, and Planning in a Multi-Region Model of Schumpeterian Economic Growth," Networks and Spatial Economics, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 605-628, December.

    More about this item


    growth; human capital; regions; sectors;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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