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High skills, high growth: is tourism an exception?

  • A. Di Liberto


Despite the emphasis placed by growth models on technological progress, recent empirical evidence shows that tourism, a low-skill/low-tech sector and one of the fastest growing industries in the world, may offer a beneficial specialization strategy for growth. This paper focuses on a balanced panel of 72 countries (1980-2005) and confirms that the tourism sector indicator is always positive and significant in growth regressions. Moreover, results also imply that increased education contribute to growth and that the role of the tourism sector is significantly larger in countries with higher aggregate levels of human capital. Our main results are robust to the inclusion of additional variables and the use of alternative estimators in the regression analysis. Overall, this study confirms that the expansion of a low-tech sector such as tourism may be a valuable strategy for development. But it also suggests that an increase in human capital endowments is always beneficial, even when the development strategy focuses on the expansion of a (successful) unskilled sector.

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Paper provided by Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia in its series Working Paper CRENoS with number 201011.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cns:cnscwp:201011
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  1. Di Liberto Adriana, 2007. "Convergence and Divergence in Neoclassical Growth Models with Human Capital," Economia politica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 2, pages 289-322.
  2. Juan Luis Eugenio-Martín & Noelia Martín Morales & Riccardo Scarpa, 2004. "Tourism and Economic Growth in Latin American Countries: A Panel Data Approach," Working Papers 2004.26, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
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